VSys One: Volunteer Management Software

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Barcode and Magnetic Stripe Readers

VSys can use barcode and magnetic stripe readers to speed up the volunteer sign-in process. Like touchscreen displays, both of these devices emulate (pretend to be) a simpler device, in this case a keyboard. What is scanned using these readers is effectively typed into VSys at high speed.

There are four primary kinds of barcode readers.





Pen readers

These look like a writing device. To read a barcode, swipe the tip of the pen along the barcode.

Very inexpensive

Much slower to use; Requires manual dexterity on volunteer's part.

Laser scanners

Just like the readers at the grocery store, these can be mounted anywhere and read barcodes placed within a few inches of the reader

Fast reading; Does not require barcode to be placed up against scanner

More expensive ($250+).

CCD readers

Handheld or mounted, these have wide heads and are placed up against the barcode to read it

Inexpensive ($75+)

Requires being placed up against the barcode to read (or vice-versa).

Swipe readers

These require that the card be swiped (like a mag stripe card) but read a barcode.

Inexpensive; Fast reading; Very reliable

Requires that the printed barcode be on an edge of the card to be read.

Magnetic stripe readers

These look much like credit card processing machines and either plug into your keyboard port (with the keyboard) or into a USB port.

RFID card readers

While VSys has no direct support for RFID readers, those that emulate a keyboard (like the magnetic stripe and barcode readers do) should work fine.

Caps Lock

If the physical keyboard's Caps Lock key is on, text that's scanned via a barcode scanner or magnetic stripe reader will have its case inverted. That is, "A" becomes "a"; "a" becomes "A". Since barcode and magnetic stripe values are case-sensitive, this can cause the kiosk to not recognize otherwise valid cards.

See Also


Touchscreen Displays