Breakthrough for mobile barcode?


Masabi has successfully collaborated with Access IS to produce optimised mobile barcode scanners for use in high volume, mass-transit situations.

The new scanners have overcome the issues of speed and reliability previously associated with mobile barcode scanning and now deliver a similar level of experience to that offered by Oyster and NFC systems, on the vast majority of mobile phone handsets with no hardware modifications.

Testing has shown that the new scanner can reliably scan, decode, decrypt and validate a mobile e-ticket in an average of just 240 milliseconds.

“This new scanner innovation removes the final barrier to the adoption of mobile eTickets, and marks the end of having to queue for your train ticket,” says Ben Whitaker, CEO, Masabi, “Now that you can buy your ticket on your mobile and get through the barrier without breaking step, everyday travel can be more convenient, and stations more efficient. Most importantly, this technology is for everyone, not just the Smartphones and iPhones, but even seven-year-old standard mobile handsets.”

Previously, mobile barcode usage has been confined to small-scale pilot studies and for airport check-in where the process is far slower and scanners are handled by trained operators. These pilot studies have shown hand-held mobile barcode scanners to be, at times, unreliable and slow, with regular problems scanning certain handsets. As a result, transport managers have viewed them as not ready for use in mass-transit applications such as bus and train ticketing.

This breakthrough marks a watershed for mobile barcode technology by providing a service comparable to NFC or Oyster style systems using a technology that is already ubiquitous. Moreover, mobile barcode offers significant benefits over NFC for non-metropolitan transport systems because the mobile phone acts as both a delivery platform and a ticket sales platform. Mobile handsets provide a complete ticketing and timetable experience at passengers’ convenience, signalling the end of station queues.