Why Image-Based Scanning Is Brighter, Lighter, and Mightier Than Traditional

By Aila Staff

December 15, 2016

Barcode scanning devices have existed in retail for decades, so many retailers may not understand why image-based technology is such an advancement over traditional scanners. In short, the image-based scanning Aila has developed supports retailers’ current scanning needs while allowing unlimited options for an in-store tech future. Here’s how:


Image-based scanners are literally brighter than traditional scanners, and that’s a big deal. Aila’s scanners use broad-spectrum LED illumination and optical guides to create the ideal environment for mobile cameras. This allows retailers to scan existing barcodes, but also to move beyond those towards new scanning use cases and symbologies.

Aila’s scanners also provide an aimer—a clean, illuminated red dot which assists users in barcode placement. Rather than associates getting lost trying to locate a barcode with their mobile device in the way, this feature intuitively guides the user and communicates the 2D scanning capabilities of the devices, making it easier for sales associates and customers to use.

These features aren’t gimmicks – they make scanning quick and responsive for associates, and deliver the crisp images that high-performance barcoding and next-generation use cases depend on.


Aila’s Interactive Kiosk and Mobile Imager use a mobile device’s native camera for image-based scanning, eliminating the need to tack on a traditional scan engine. This results in lighter, sleeker, and more power efficient devices in the form of kiosks with a modern aesthetic, and handheld devices that deliver true one-handed use – a boon for customers and sales associates alike.


The real genius of Aila’s image-based scanners, however, is the adaptive technology and software provided through our SDK. When you invest in an image-based scanner from Aila, you’re getting incredibly advanced tech baked in, such as…

  • Sensing: Aila’s image-based scanners employ machine vision algorithms to sense their environment to inform focus, lighting, and contextual awareness – augmenting the mobile device’s native camera so that it can focus faster and scan more accurately. These devices have the ability to sense what’s going on in ways traditional engines can’t, so they can fluidly handle more complex scanning scenarios.
  • Adaptive Engine: This is the brain of Aila’s image-based scanning devices which brings our technologies harmoniously together to deliver high performance imaging through a combination of sensing, lighting and camera controls. No matter what you’re trying to image, our devices adapts to provide the best experience possible.
  • Native decoding PLUS support for high quality imaging: The SDK for Aila’s image-based scanners comes preloaded with decode capabilities for a broad range of 1D and 2D symbologies. But that’s only half the story – it also pairs elegantly with other technologies to enable experiences that support Digimarcs invisible barcodes, ID capture, and augmented reality.
  • Continual software updates: Like a Tesla, the hardware built for Aila’s image-based scanning technology receives routine, automatic performance and capability updates. This is a new generation of products which deliver fantastic hardware meant to function in a constantly-evolving ecosystem. So, retailers aren’t buying a stagnate device that will soon be obsolete – they’re buying into a platform that evolves with their needs.

The real benefit for retailers? Buying an image-based scanner from Aila doesn’t just deliver a high-performance scanner for today, but delivers the advanced tech and continual software updates that retailers can use to build the in-store experience of tomorrow. 

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