Top 10 Wearable Barcode Scanners of 2024

Revolutionizing Inventory: Are Wearable Barcode Scanners the Future?

The landscape of inventory management is rapidly evolving, and at the forefront of this revolution are wearable barcode scanners. As the CEO of EFFON, I’ve seen firsthand how these innovative devices transform warehouse operations. But what makes them so special, and why are they becoming indispensable in modern inventory management?

Wearable barcode scanners are not just gadgets; they are powerful wearable tools that redefine efficiency. Their ability to streamline operations, enhance accuracy, and improve worker comfort has made them a must-have in any forward-thinking warehouse. In this post, we’ll dive into what wearable barcode scanners are, their types, effectiveness, and of course, the top 10 wearable barcode scanners of 2024.

What are wearable barcode scanners?

Wearable barcode scanners are innovative devices designed to facilitate hands-free scanning of barcodes, significantly enhancing efficiency and accuracy in various industrial settings. They are typically worn on the hand or finger and connect wirelessly to a central system. This design allows users to perform scanning tasks while keeping their hands free from other activities, which is particularly beneficial in environments where quick and repetitive scanning is necessary, such as logistics, warehousing, manufacturing, and retail.

These scanners are ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use, minimizing physical strain during extended periods of operation. Wireless connectivity offers greater mobility, allowing users to move around freely without the constraints of wired connections. Wearable barcode scanners integrate seamlessly with existing inventory and management systems and can be customized to meet specific operational requirements.

In a 3PL supply chain context, such as for procurement officers and logistics managers, wearable barcode scanners are essential tools for optimizing operational workflows. They align with the needs for quality, efficiency, and competitive pricing, addressing key aspects like logistics and certification. Adopting these devices can be a strategic move for businesses aiming to enhance productivity and accuracy in their processes.

Types of Wearable Barcode Scanners

Wearable barcode scanners come in various types, each designed to suit different operational needs and work environments. Here’s an overview of the primary types:

1. Finger Scanners/Ring Scanner:
Compact and lightweight, these scanners fit onto a finger and allow the user to scan by pointing. Ideal for environments where items are handled frequently, such as in retail or parcel delivery.

2. Wireless Glove Scanners:
Integrating the scanner into a glove, this type offers a highly ergonomic solution. Workers can scan items while handling them, which is particularly useful in manufacturing and logistics.

3. Arm-Worn Scanners:
These scanners are attached to the user’s arm or wrist. They often feature a screen for immediate data verification and are suitable for environments where workers need to view information frequently, such as in inventory management.

Glass-Wearable Scanners:
Integrated with smart glasses, these scanners allow for hands-free operation and data visualization. They are ideal for complex tasks that require both hands, such as intricate assembly processes.

Each type of wearable barcode scanner offers distinct advantages in terms of mobility, ease of use, and efficiency. The choice depends on the specific requirements of the operation, including the nature of the tasks, the environment in which they are used, and the level of mobility required by the workers. For procurement officers and logistics managers, understanding these variations is key to selecting the most suitable type that aligns with their operational needs and enhances productivity and accuracy in their processes.

How does the wearable barcode scanners work?

Wearable barcode scanners operate by combining advanced scanning technology with ergonomic design, allowing for efficient and hands-free operation. Here’s how they typically work:

1. Scanning Mechanism:
Wearable scanners use either laser scanning or imaging technology to read barcodes.

Laser scanners emit a red laser beam that reflects off the barcode and back to the scanner, where the reflection is decoded into data.

Imaging scanners, similar to digital cameras, capture an image of the barcode and then use software algorithms to decode the data.

2. Wearable Design:
These scanners are designed to be worn on parts of the body like the finger, wrist, or arm. This design allows users to move freely and use their hands for other tasks while scanning.

They are often lightweight and compact to minimize fatigue and ensure comfort during prolonged use.

3. Wireless Connectivity:
It can connect with any Bluetooth Device via Bluetooth, such as Mobile phones, Tablets, and Laptop

Most wearable scanners connect wirelessly to a central system, such as a computer or a handheld terminal, using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

This wireless connection transmits the scanned data to the system for processing and storage.

4. Data Processing:
Once the barcode data is captured and transmitted, the central system processes it. This could involve checking an item’s information against a database, updating inventory records, or initiating other actions in the management system.

In some cases, the wearable scanner may have a built-in display or interface to provide immediate feedback or additional functionalities to the user.

5. Integration with Systems:
Wearable scanners are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing inventory management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and warehouse management systems (WMS).

This integration ensures that the data captured by the scanner is directly linked to the broader operational processes of the business.

For businesses in logistics, manufacturing, retail, or similar sectors, wearable barcode scanners represent a significant efficiency enhancement. They streamline the scanning process, reduce the likelihood of errors, and allow workers to perform multitasking, thus improving overall productivity and accuracy in operations. For procurement officers and logistics managers, understanding the working mechanism of these devices is crucial for selecting the right solution that aligns with their operational requirements and business objectives.

What are the advantages of using wearable barcode scanners?

Wearable barcode scanners offer several advantages that make them a valuable tool in various industries, particularly in logistics, warehousing, retail, and manufacturing. These benefits include:

1. Increased Productivity and Efficiency:
Wearable scanners allow for faster and more efficient barcode scanning. This speed is crucial in high-volume environments like warehouses, where time saved per scan can significantly impact overall productivity.

By enabling hands-free operation, these devices allow workers to perform other tasks simultaneously, such as handling items or operating machinery.

2. Enhanced Ergonomics and Comfort:
Designed to be lightweight and comfortable, wearable scanners reduce the physical strain associated with repetitive scanning tasks.

This ergonomic design helps prevent fatigue and injuries related to overuse, leading to a healthier workforce and reduced absenteeism.

3. Improved Accuracy:
Wearable scanners help minimize human error in data entry and scanning processes. Accurate data capture is essential for inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer satisfaction.

This accuracy is particularly important in industries where tracking and tracing of goods are critical.

4. Mobility and Flexibility:
The wireless nature of these devices offers greater freedom of movement. Workers are not tethered to a specific location, allowing them to move around the workspace freely.

This mobility is advantageous in large warehouses or manufacturing facilities where workers may need to travel significant distances.

5. Real-Time Data Access:
Wearable scanners often provide real-time data transmission to central systems, ensuring that inventory and tracking systems are constantly updated.

Immediate data access is crucial for dynamic environments where quick decision-making is necessary.

6. Seamless Integration:
These scanners can easily integrate with existing warehouse management systems (WMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and other inventory management software.

This compatibility ensures that wearable scanners can be adopted with minimal disruption to current processes.

7. Cost-Effective Operations:
While there is an upfront investment, the long-term benefits of enhanced productivity and reduced error rates can lead to significant cost savings.

This cost-effectiveness is especially pronounced in operations where time and accuracy are directly tied to revenue and customer satisfaction.

8. Scalability and Future-Proofing:
Wearable technology is adaptable to changing business needs. As companies grow or processes evolve, these devices can be scaled or upgraded accordingly.

For businesses in relevant sectors, the use of wearable barcode scanners aligns with the goals of operational efficiency, worker well-being, and maintaining a competitive edge in the market. These advantages make them a strategic investment for companies looking to optimize their operations.

Best Wearable Barcode Scanners of 2023

1. EFFON EF02 Rugged Wearable Scanner

The EFFON EF02 represents a cutting-edge solution in industrial wearable technology, integrating the advanced Zebra scanning engine. This device is designed for seamless and efficient scanning operations in various industrial settings.” providing extreme comfort, wearing options to ensure comfort and ease-of-use for every worker

Key Features:
Lightweight – 65g
Combine zebra scan engine
Bluetooth connectivity
1D and 2D barcode scanning capability
Rugged and Durable design
IP65 water and particular

EFFON Wearable RIng Barcode Scanner

EFFON Wireless Glove Scanner

EFFON’s wireless glove scanner redefines the standards for wearable scanners with its unparalleled combination of lightness, durability, and ergonomic design.
Tailored to streamline workflows, the NS02 features a powerful multi-range scan engine. Experience the transformative impact of the NS02 on your operations, where speed, precision, and adaptability come together seamlessly.

Key Features:
● Lightweight –45g
● Ring, back-of-hand wearable option, lanyard
● Low profile form factor
● With replaceable battery
● NFC tap to pair
● IP65 water and particular

EFFON Wireless Glove Scanner

EFFON Introduction:

EFFON, with over 15 years of expertise, is a prominent wearable barcode scanner manufacturer. Their varied lineup, featuring Wearable Ring, Finger, Wireless Glove Scanners, Portable, and Handheld Scanners, caters to diverse industry needs. Their success is driven by an in-house R&D department, ensuring cutting-edge innovation, and a dedicated manufacturing line for stringent quality control. This blend of innovation and quality cements EFFON’s status as a market leader. Their scanners, known for enhancing workflow efficiency, reducing user strain, and seamless system integration, are ideal for industries seeking operational excellence.

For more on EFFON’s products, visit https://www.effon.com

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2. Zebra RS5100 Wearable Scanner

The RS5100 is practically weightless, providing extreme comfort. Your customers will barely notice the single-finger low-profile design on
the hands of your associates. There are many wearing options to ensure comfort and easeof use for every worker — the RS5100 can be worn on a finger on the right or left hand, on the back of either hand or around the neck on a lanyard.1 And while your workers get the comfort, design, and the ease-of-use they need,

Key Features:

● Lightweight –70g
● Ring,back-of-hand wearable option, lanyard
● Low profile form factor
● Programmable LED with replaceable battery
● NFC tap to pair
● IP65 water and particular

Zebra RS5100 Wearable Scanner

Zebra Technology Introduction:

Zebra Technology is a global leader in automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) solutions, known for its innovative barcode printers and scanners, RFID technology, rugged mobile devices, and real-time location systems. With products widely used in retail, healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing, Zebra enhances businesses’ ability to track, manage, and optimize operations. They also offer advanced software solutions for data analytics, helping businesses make informed decisions. Renowned for their commitment to innovation, Zebra’s continuous research and development ensure their solutions not only meet current market demands but also anticipate future trends, making them a vital player in sectors requiring precise tracking and management of assets.
Website: https://www.zebra.com

3. Proglove Mark Scanner

The ProGlove Mark Scanner stands as a revolutionary tool in the realm of wearable scanning technology. Designed for efficiency and precision, it offers a seamless scanning experience, enhancing productivity in various industrial and logistical environments

Key Features:
● Weight: 40 grams
● Barcode(s):1D & 2D
● Scanning range: 30 – 150 cm
● Connectivity Wireless
● Protection class: IP54
● Battery capacity: 670 mAh

Proglove Mark Scanner

4. Datalogic hands-free scanner

The HandScanner from Datalogic is the lightest and the smallest wearable scanner in the market. It is designed for use in Transport & Logistics, Retail, Manufacturing, and Healthcare. The key benefits are many, such as ease of use, hands-free while picking items and fast data capture, accelerating productivity dramatically while reducing unnecessary, repetitive tasks and associated errors.

Key Features:
● Weight: 40 grams
● Barcode(s):1D & 2D
● Scanning range: 30 – 150 cm
● Connectivity Wireless
● Protection class: IP54
● Battery capacity: 670 mAh

Datalogic hands-free scanner

Datalogic Introduction:

Datalogic is a global leader in the automatic data capture and process automation markets, specializing in the design and production of barcode readers, mobile computers, sensors for detection, measurement and safety, RFID, vision and laser marking systems. Known for their innovative and comprehensive solutions, Datalogic products are used in retail, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. Their technology enhances the efficiency and quality of processes in the supply chain, at retail checkouts, in the manufacturing shop floor, and in the healthcare environment. With a strong focus on research and development, Datalogic is committed to delivering products that are both cutting-edge and user-friendly, helping businesses worldwide to increase productivity and streamline their operations.

Website: https://www.datalogic.com

5. Unitech MS652 ring scanner

The MS652 Plus ring scanner is the newest scanner to hit Unitech’s growing data collection portfolio. It features a wearable design that gives you freedom of movement to perform barcode scanning tasks comfortably while keeping both hands free.

Key Features:
● Weight: 95 grams
● Barcode(s):1D & 2D
● Flexibility wireless design with a 100M operation range
● Connectivity: Wireless Bluetooth
● Changeable and rechargeable battery pack
● Protection class: IP42
● Full Shift Battery Life: Up to 13 Hours

Unitech MS652 ring scanner

Unitech Introduction:

Unitech is a reputable company specializing in the development and manufacturing of a wide range of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) products. Their product line includes barcode scanners, mobile computers, magnetic stripe readers, and RFID readers, catering to various industries such as retail, healthcare, warehousing, and logistics. Unitech is recognized for combining innovative technology with durable designs, ensuring their products can withstand the rigors of industrial environments while providing efficient and reliable data capture solutions. Their commitment to delivering high-quality, user-friendly, and cost-effective products has made Unitech a trusted name in the AIDC market, helping businesses streamline operations and enhance productivity.
Website: https://www.ute.com

6. Honeywell 8675i Wearable Scanner

The 8675i offers always-at-hand wearable scanning to improve workflow productivity. Premium scanning performance including the FlexRange™ option enables wearable efficiency. Small, lightweight and ergonomic, the 8675i will help your workers perform.

Key Features:

● Barcode(s):1D & 2D
● Tumble Specifications: 2,000 x 1/2m (1.6ft) tumbles
● Connectivity: Wireless Bluetooth 5.1
● Changeable and rechargeable battery pack
● Protection class: IP65
● Battery capacity: 570

Honeywell 8675i Wearable Scanner

7. Facnroll Wearable Barcode Scanenr

The FACNORLL wearable scanner, also known as FACNROLL, is a convenient and safe wearable barcode scanner. It features smart gloves for hands-free operation, facilitating a more ergonomic workflow.

Key Features:

● Barcode(s):1D & 2D
● 640×480 CMOS
● 625nm Red LED
● About 40cm of barcode recognition distance
● Long-lasting Battery:700mah

Facnroll Wearable Barcode Scanenr

Facnroll Introduction:

Facnroll is a company specializing in providing technology solutions tailored to the automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) industry. Their product range typically includes barcode scanners, RFID systems, and related software solutions, catering to various sectors such as retail, logistics, healthcare, and manufacturing. Facnroll is recognized for its focus on delivering innovative and efficient data capture technologies that enhance operational productivity and accuracy.
Website: http://eng.facnroll.co.kr/

Thread in Motion VEGA-X Capture the perfect shot with VEGA-X’s dynamic camera! From every angle, it takes photos of production parts and logistics products, instantly verifying their correctness with a powerful machine-learning algorithm.

Key Features:

● Color screen
● Scan range up to 12m
● Wi-fi
● Easy integration
● Removable batteries
● Haptic, optic and acoustic feedbac

Thread in Motion VEGA-X

Thread in Motion Introduction:

Thread in Motion is an innovative company specializing in the development of wearable technology solutions, particularly focused on enhancing efficiency and ergonomics in industrial and corporate settings. Their product range primarily includes smart garments and accessories integrated with advanced technologies like sensors, RFID, and IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity. These products are designed to facilitate seamless data capture and real-time monitoring, thereby optimizing workflow and improving safety in various sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare..

Website: https://www.threadinmotion.com/

NIMMSTA enables high performance picking with the world’s first Industrial Smart Watch, fundamentally revolutionising intralogistics. The optimised picking workflows are displayed on the innovative Smart Watch. Thanks to the bidirectional interaction between the worker and the warehouse management system (WMS), the picking processes run up to 50% more efficiently. In addition, a zero error rate is achieved. The high level of wearing comfort due to the ergonomic individual placement inspires the workers.

Key Features:

● Can also be worn with work gloves
● Durability: approx. 8 weeks
● washable 30°
● Easy integration
● silicone-free

Nimmsta Wearable Scanner

Nimmsta Introduction:

Nimmsta is a dynamic and innovative company specializing in the development of smart wearable technology, specifically focusing on industrial-grade hand-back scanners. These scanners are designed to revolutionize the way data capture and scanning tasks are conducted in various industries, including logistics, retail, and manufacturing. Nimmsta’s technology stands out for its ergonomic design, allowing users to scan items hands-free, thereby significantly increasing efficiency and reducing the physical strain associated with traditional scanning devices..

Website: https://nimmsta.com/

While the KDC180 Ring Trigger is worn on two fingers, the KDC185 Ring Trigger is worn only on a single finger. The KDC185 Ring Trigger is ambidextrous, is worn on index finger, and features a scan button that is operated by thumb. The Ring Trigger makes data collection faster and more efficiently while not requiring an external power source or any other peripherals. The Ring Trigger is ideal for users who need full use of their hands but also may want to easily remove the scanner for any reason (such as sorting through a bin of products).

Key Features:

● Designed to be worn on a single finger, ultra-compact
● 1D&2D barcodes
● Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.0
● Easy integration
● features NFC Pairing

Koamtac KDC185 Ring Trigger

Koamtac Introduction:

Koamtac is a recognized leader in the development of compact, high-performance data collection devices and accessories. Their product portfolio includes Bluetooth barcode scanners, RFID readers, and mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solutions. These products are particularly tailored for use in sectors like retail, healthcare, logistics, and inventory management. Koamtac’s devices are known for their durability, portability, and ease of integration with smartphones and tablets, offering a versatile range of data capture and payment processing capabilities.

Website: https://koamtac.com/

Why are some Wearable barcode scanners so expensive?

Wearable barcode scanners can be expensive due to several factors that contribute to their cost:

Advanced Technology: These scanners incorporate sophisticated technologies like laser scanning or imaging systems, wireless connectivity, and often complex software for integration with enterprise systems. Developing and integrating these technologies can be costly.

Durability and Reliability: Wearable scanners are designed to withstand tough industrial environments, including exposure to dust, moisture, and frequent impacts. High-quality materials and robust construction to ensure durability add to the cost.

Ergonomic Design: Creating a device that is both functional and comfortable to wear, especially over long periods, requires extensive research and design expertise, which is a significant investment.

Research and Development (R&D): Continuous innovation is essential in the tech industry. The investment in R&D to stay ahead with the latest advancements and to ensure compatibility with a range of systems and software also contributes to the higher price.

Specialized Features: Many wearable scanners offer specialized features such as long battery life, fast scanning capabilities, and integration with specific systems or applications, which require additional development and can increase the cost.

Customization and Scalability: The ability to customize scanners for specific industry needs and ensure they are scalable for different business sizes requires additional resources and technology, which can raise the price.

Support and Maintenance: The cost often includes support, maintenance, and potential software updates, ensuring the device remains functional and up-to-date over its lifespan.

In summary, the expense of wearable barcode scanners is a reflection of the advanced technology, durability, design expertise, and specialized features they offer, along with the costs associated with continuous innovation and customer support in a specialized market.

How to Choose the right wearable barcode scanners for your warehouse?

Choosing the right wearable barcode scanner for your warehouse involves considering several key factors to ensure you select a device that enhances efficiency, accuracy, and ergonomics in your operations:

Scanning Environment:
Consider the specific conditions in your warehouse, such as the size, layout, and lighting conditions. For large spaces with variable lighting, you might need scanners with long-range capabilities and good readability in different light conditions.

Type of Barcodes Used:
Determine the types of barcodes commonly used in your operations (1D, 2D, QR codes, etc.). Ensure the scanner you choose is compatible with these formats.

Frequency of Use:
For high-volume scanning, opt for scanners with fast scanning capabilities and long battery life to minimize downtime.

Durability and Reliability:
The scanner should be durable enough to withstand the typical wear and tear of your warehouse environment, including resistance to dust, drops, and possibly moisture.

Ergonomics and Comfort:
Consider the comfort of the user, especially if the scanner will be used continuously over long periods. Look for lightweight, ergonomically designed models that can reduce user fatigue and strain.

Wireless Connectivity:
Choose scanners with reliable wireless connectivity (such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) that can easily integrate with your warehouse management system (WMS) and other operational systems.

User Interface and Feedback:
Scanners with intuitive interfaces and clear feedback mechanisms (like audio signals or vibration alerts) can enhance user efficiency and accuracy.

Customization and Scalability:
The scanner should be adaptable to your current and future needs. Consider whether its features and performance can scale with your business growth.

Cost vs. Benefit Analysis:
Weigh the cost of the scanners against the benefits they bring in terms of productivity and efficiency gains. Higher upfront costs may be justified by long-term savings and improvements.

Vendor Reputation and Support:
Consider the reputation of the manufacturer and the level of post-purchase support and service they offer, including warranty, maintenance, and customer service.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select a wearable barcode scanner that not only meets the specific needs of your warehouse operations but also contributes to overall workflow optimization and cost-effectiveness.

Request A Quote for Your Warehouse Inventory Management Projects!

In Conclusion: Embrace the Future

Wearable barcode scanners are more than just a trend; they’re a significant leap forward in inventory management. As the logistics and manufacturing sectors continue to evolve, staying ahead means adopting these innovative tools. Embrace the future; embrace efficiency.

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