For unattended, contactless attendance tracking, we usually recommend iPads because of their stability, the availability of mounting hardware, and the good scanning performance of the front camera when using our apps Kiosk Mode.
Recently we took a look at the Amazon Fire 7 tablet which costs only $65 in single-unit quantities. Compared to the minimum price tag for a new iPad at $329, it sure seemed like a cost-effective alternative, especially for temporary use. So we decided to run some tests.
The Fire 7 tablet (9th generation) runs the Fire OS which currently is based on the Android operating system. Amazon devices are generally not compatible with Android apps and don’t have access to the Google Play Store. Therefore, we emailed a link to codeREADr’s Android APK to sideload it. [Contact us if you need our Android APK.]
The app loaded without issue and the scanning performance was good for such an inexpensive device. Using the front and rear cameras, scanning QR codes with moderate complexity was accurate and quick. Other 1D and 2D barcode types were also scannable, though only with our SD PRO scan engine.
Unlike other iOS and Android OS devices, this tablet is not ideal for scanning complex barcodes because neither the front nor rear cameras have auto-focus. Nonetheless, even without auto-focus, scanning was more than adequate, especially with QR codes.
The recommended configurations for unattended attendance tracking are as follows:
We recommend using the SD PRO scan engine in the Framing Mode. In that way, the attendee can clearly see where to present their ID. If using our standard camera scan engine, you should limit scanning to QR codes on the Advanced step. If using our SD PRO camera scan engine, you should limit scanning to QR codes or the specific barcode types you’ll be scanning.
There are many ways to mount the tablet, including locking frames like those offered by the company “Armour Dog“. The Amazon Appstore has several free apps to keep the screen on which we found useful. Also, Fire OS options like “Do Not Disturb” and “App Pinning” could be useful, depending on your intended use.
- Tracking students and employees on and off the buses.
- Registering patrons at bars and restaurants.
- Tracking employees, students, and members in and out of facilities.
- Registering incoming visitors to specific locations and logging where they visit once there.
Please visit our website’s Chat Now utility to talk to our support specialists in real-time or email us at support@codeREADr.com.
Conclusion: The Fire 7 tablet (9th Generation) performs quite well and the price is very attractive. However, it’s possible that future updates to the Fire OS could potentially create issues. We would update our Android APK to fix those issues, providing enough clients are using the Fire 7 tablet.