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Barcode Readers

Cognex Blogs

You do not have to be a vision expert, that's what I am here for


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John Keating, 08-23-2011

I joined Cognex just as we began a transition from being an OEM-based company, focused on the semiconductor and electronics industries, to a company focused on factory automation. My job has been to understand lighting, optics, and core vision algorithms in order to figure out how to bring them to market in a way that so that you do not need to be a “vision expert” in order to use them. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to join the ID Products Business Unit as the Manager of Product Marketing. What excited me about this position, in addition to working with the people, was to be a part of a group focused on becoming the leader in a booming market for vision – ID reading. Part of what makes this business challenging – and therefore fun – is the expectation that we set for ourselves.

Our goal is to be number one in reading technology–which means our algorithms have to read codes that no other product out there can. While many may think of ID as “just barcode reading”, the challenge for such technology is to find that Data Matrix, QR, or 1-D barcode somewhere within the image and then decode it better, faster, and more robustly than any other product on the market.

The easier part of this goal is for our reading algorithms to read the difficult codes so that the user does not have lots of knobs, checkboxes, and controls to learn and manage.  The hard part (again, the fun stuff to me) is to make the setup of the optics, lighting, triggering, and communication smart and easy enough so that the user does not need to be an expert to do it. What I like to hear back from you is not how good our barcode readers are or how easy our setup is (well, actually, I do like to hear that) – but about what else can they do for you, what will make it easier for you?

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