[whatwg] input type=barcode?

Alexandre Morgaut Alexandre.Morgaut at 4d.com
Fri Aug 31 03:26:23 PDT 2012

Working in Web applications solutions, I would really love such input type or mode

Jonas asked if it was used enough.
I would say for what I know that many applications propose to read barcodes:
- to give informations about a product (either in business application or to give informations to consumers)
- to trace a parcel sent by mail to check where it is until it reached its destination
- to trace wood to guaranty its legality and that it's a sustainable one- to scan a contact card
- to have a security guard checking in different "station points" during a patrol
- to get discounts or specific offers from a flash code
- to play games like geocaching or once with augmented reality

Considering UA proposed interface, many at least 3 or 4 input mode could be used

1) by default the text mode with the alternative audio mode as it is more and more proposed in mobiles
2) if a camera is available, this mode can be proposed either by default or because the user choose this mode
3) if a barcode reader is available on the device, either natively or via USB / Bluetooth, this other mode can also be proposed

In the preferences of the UA, the user could define its preferred default mode
If not defined in the preferences, a dialog can propose all those available with a checkbox to remember the choice

As for today a Web developer can use getUserMedia() to access to the camera or use the experimental USB/Bluetooh API proposed by Google
Its last solution will often be to do an hybrid application to be sure that anyone can have a good user experience to scan the barcodes.
Some of my concerns with those solutions:
- USB/Bluetooth API may never become standard,
- the user can not define globally what would be his preferred input mode (camera or barcode reader)

Alexandre Morgaut
Wakanda Community Manager

60, rue d'Alsace
92110 Clichy

Standard : +33 1 40 87 92 00
Email :    Alexandre.Morgaut at 4d.com
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