Enabling Smartphone Use with Laser Bar Code Readers

Providing a Better User Experience and OEM Hardware Differentiation

Every day, smartphone use continues to increase, and they become more a part of our daily lives. Point-of-sale (POS) retailers have reacted to this by transitioning coupons, loyalty cards, event tickets and gift cards from their usual paper and plastic format to a lower cost, more convenient electronic format.

irda bar code x

However, one hurdle to mass implementation of all-electronic barcodes is that laser-based barcode scanners (unlike LED-based) cannot read barcodes shown on smartphone displays.

bar code reflection

Smartphone screens display data using light. The light sensor in a laser barcode scanner is searching for a reflection from the laser, and translates that reflection into barcode data. However, the light source of the phone (the display) doesn’t allow a reflection; all the barcode reader "sees" is a constant reflection, not what is on the display. In plain English, it’s a little like shining a second light source on a shadow; the second light source makes the shadow disappear.


Laser Barcode Transmitter PSB

Through the implementation of Mobeam’s® patented Light Based Communication (LBC) technology on PolarPro® 3/3E or ArcticLink® 3 S2/S1 CSSP programmable devices, QuickLogic has solved this issue. LBC technology uses the any LED light source (typically the Infrared LED) present on smartphone to “beam” the barcode data to the laser scanner’s receiver, allowing the coupon code to be read into the retailers system.

Smartphone OEMs implement a programmable logic device from QuickLogic, featuring the LBC technology, during the design stage of a new product. The device can be customized for individual OEMs needs, and can have additional technologies added without increasing product footprint to maximize usage of board space.

irda bar code block duagram

Programmable Fabric-based IrDA Barcode Transmitter

Available Platforms

Sensor Hub

Platform Features
ArcticLink 3 S2

The ArcticLink 3 S2, the second generation sensor hub platform from QuickLogic, features a processing platform ideal for the needs of power-conscious OEMs. Featuring 4x the computational performance, 4x the on-board algorithm capacity and 8x sensor data buffer storage plus programmable fabric, the S2 is the sensor hub of choice for smartphone and wearable OEMs. 

ArcticLink 3 S1

The ArcticLink 3 S1 Ultra-Low Power Sensor Hub (ULPSH) is the first device to meet the power thresholds and support the sensor processing functions required to make always-on sensors in smartphones, wearables and tablets a mainstream reality. Available as a Catalog CSSP featuring Sensor Platform Inc's FreeMotion library or as a fully OEM-configurable CSSP, the ArcticLink 3 S1 sensor hub is the best choice for power-conscious system designers.


Platform Features
PolarPro 3E

The PolarPro 3E is the latest generation of QuickLogic's mobile programmable logic devices. It improves upon previous generations by adding embedded standard blocks commonly used in mobile FPGA designs. Featuring 3,500 effective logic cells in an extremely small 2.19 mm x 2.47 mm package, the PolarPro 3E is ideal for low power applications where long battery life is key to a positive user experience.

PolarPro 3

QuickLogic’s PolarPro 3 programmable logic devices are designed to address the next generation needs of mobile designers. Featuring 1,019 logic cells in an extremely small 2 x 2.5mm package, the PolarPro 3 operates on as little as 55µA static power, making it ideal for low power applications where long battery life is key to a positive user experience

PolarPro and PolarPro II

The PolarPro and PolarPro II solution platforms offer a spectrum of PSBs such as SDIO/SD/MMC, high speed UARTs, keyboard control, SPI and I²C ports, advanced clock management and others   in low cost, small form factor packaging .


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