September 25, 2017 • 6 min read
Tracking Attendance with Smartphones
Collecting Data with Attendance
When you have a large number of sessions (or classes, events, etc) to track attendance for, create a service for each group. Also, you can use a session question to denote within one service which group the subsequent data belongs to. Then, the session name/ID becomes part of the scan record for all scans until changed or cleared.
Most Kiosk Mode users tend to stick with tablets like an iPad or Galaxy Tab. Importantly, the front cameras don’t have autofocus. Thus, the ideal credential is a QR Code without a lot of information embedded in it. For example, you could use 8-20 alphanumeric characters.
In this video, we show you scanning mobile and printed QR codes using the front camera of iOS and Android devices. Then, we show you reading RFID/NFC objects (cards, FOBs, etc.) using Android devices connected to a dedicated reader (pcProx). Also, we show the use of the built-in NFC reader of Android devices.
Also, we’ve tested the ‘ASUS Chromebook Flip C101 PA’ convertible laptop, which was only $229. Scanning with the front-facing webcam was reliable. Chromebooks with access to the Google Play store are able to download CodeREADr. Thus, this could be a good option for Kiosk Mode use.
Another hardware option a client has used is the Symbol model LS2208 USB scanning accessory connected to an iPad with a lightning adapter. For a cheaper option, we’ve tested another barcode scanning accessory. This item came right out of the box in the Keyboard Emulation mode (HID) with a continuous scan and a carriage return suffix enabled. It scanned well but not flawlessly. It will only scan linear 1D barcodes (e.g. Code 39, Code 128, UPC/EAN, etc). It will not scan 2D barcodes (QR codes, DataMatrix, etc.). You can see a 12-second demo video here.
When using scanning accessories, configure those for the keyboard emulation mode with a carriage return suffix. Those are typical default settings for such scanners. If not, refer to the device’s manual for instructions. If the device supports submission of the scan as a complete string all at once (instead of one character at a time), that’s ideal for faster processing.
Also, when setting up your scanning accessory to work with the CodeREADr app, look for the option on the Advanced step to enable Auto Next Scan and disable the camera.
Finally, if your device’s camera is having trouble scanning quickly in Kiosk Mode, enable SD Pro. Then, configure the scanner to use Framing Mode. As a result, you can quickly scan as the app will only read when the whole barcode is in the frame. Also, the person scanning can see exactly where to place their barcode, thus making it much better user experience.
For special configurations for emergencies, please see our Mustering Solution Features and Mustering Instructions.
Click here for the Eastern Michigan University Case Study, including how they leverage the collected data, and here for a detailed article about their process and the value to both students and universities.