It’s the software, not the hardware—or at least, not just the hardware. That’s the credo Intelli Innovations must have had in mind when they released the IntelliScanner SOHO hardware/software bundle. The IntelliScanner SOHO bundle combines a barcode scanner with some nifty software to manage inventories, business items and collections.
Added value is what it is all about in market segments where almost every product seems to be a commoddity. The IntelliScanner SOHO bundle delivers much added value in an attractive package. The barcode scanner is a small handheld scanner that you can use untethered—it will then hold 2,500 barcodes in its internal memory. As soon as you’ve scanned your items, you can connect it to the Mac through a cable that will automatically unload the barcodes into one of the IntelliScanner applications.
Inventory is such an application. Inventory is “just another inventory program” much like a database, until you start using it in tandem with Intelli Innovations’ cleverly designed “side-dishes”. One such a side-dish is the IntelliScanner On-The-Go card, a plastic credit card sized card that contains barcodes for scanning quantities. Suppose you have 32 boxes of copier paper that have to be inventoried, then you can scan the numbers 3 and 2 on On-The-Go card after having scanned one copier paper pack’s barcode.
Another such an added value are the barcode tags included with your IntelliScanner. The SOHO has a sample pack of ten of them; other IntelliScanners may have more of them. Tags are plastic barcode labels that you can stick on any item to track and trace it.
No-Frills SoftwareThe IntelliScanner software by itself is useful and efficient—it is no-frill software that does what it is supposed to do. One program, however, jumps out, and that’s the IntelliScan Portable Driver. This little program is installed in the Library and lives in your menu bar. It enables you to customise the scanner’s behaviour. For example, if I want to have the SOHO scan a barcode, then pause for half a minute and then “press” the F2 key on my keyboard, the Portable Driver will allow me to do just that.
It’s this Portable Driver that builds a bridge between the internal data structure of the IntelliScanner SOHO and applications such as FileMaker Pro, Bento, and a whole slew of others like iWork ‘08 Numbers, to name a few.
It’s also what sets the IntelliScanner SOHO really apart from other barcode scanning solutions I’ve seen so far.
Collection is a software that manages your content media, such as books, movies, music, etc. Although several international libraries can be consulted online to automatically enter content information, I found the main source to be US-based. That’s not a surprise, given the fact that US and UK based Amazon libraries account for a huge chunk of the media going around on the planet, but it makes the system useless to users who live in relatively small countries like the Low Countries, but also France, etc.
This problem obviously doesn’t pop up when scanning for inventory, as you will have to fill in the item’s information yourself. Lazy as I am, I always wonder why these applications can’t log into Apple’s servers to get me automatically filled in data for my computers, and their peripherals—just dreaming!
Compared to reviews of IntelliScanner solutions I wrote a couple of years ago, I was also happily surprised by the IntelliScanner Dashboard. This Dashboard offers an elegant solution to which software gets installed when you buy an IntelliScanner product. The Dashboard holds all the Intelli Innovations applications in one window. All you have to do is match your registration numbers with the correct software to get exactly the functionality you are entitled to when buying one of the IntelliScanner products.
With the SOHO, it’s Collection, Inventory, and the Business Integration Kit. With other IntelliScanners you could get a license for the Daneizo product, or for the wine management system. The scanner itself has a nice quality. It’s quiet and does the job well.