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Powerful and versatile technology is at our fingertips every day. As part of our forward-facing commitment to testing and deploying the newest technologies – where and when they make economic sense – to build, deploy, and support the best reusables tracking solutions, we developed Wave Reaction’s WAVE reusables mobile app to capture many of the same shipping and receiving transactions that are typically performed by a handheld scanner.

The WAVE reusables mobile app isn’t intended to replace existing infrastructure – handheld scanners are engineered specifically to scan many items very quickly. Instead, a smartphone can be used as a supplement to hand held scanners, as both device types have their share of advantages and strengths.

When to use the app:

  • App-enabled mobile phones are perfect for scanning low-volume shipments – allowing scanners to recharge or be used for larger jobs.
  • Mobile phones are light-weight, and many affordable options are available; scanners can be bulky and significantly pricier.

When to use a scanner:

  • Scanners are capable of performing large volumes of scanning in a single session, with long battery life and built-in barcode readers. Specific models are even equipped with RFID sensors.
  • Using a handheld scanner is easy to learn and quick to master.

Why choose one over the other:

  • While scanners are good at what they do, it’s essentially all they can do; they often require extensive integration work to allow them to communicate with outside software.
  • While the smartphone app can capture barcodes in quick succession, it’s ultimately a phone with an app, and isn’t robust enough to handle the large volume of scanning typically encountered in an enterprise shipping environment.

Scanners and smartphones are both great tools for data collection. A smartphone shouldn’t replace a scanner outright, but acting as a supplemental device, to allow for flexibility in your work flow and as a “quick fix” when speed is more important than volume, a smartphone enabled with the WAVE reusables app can be a powerful new tool to help get the job done.

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