Kodak Alaris has decided to support the secure access to INfuse AX scanners by integrating a third party card reader. This is a great way to allow certain users to access the scanners, or even better, to personalize the scanning workflow to each users needs.
Secure access is nothing new, we use it all the time in the corporate world. Mainly, we use badges to access the company, certain floors or rooms of the company, and sometimes even equipment that is shared between users. Kodak Alaris has taken it a step further and you can now use the scanner using your badge.
Why have badge access to a scanner
It might not seem that important, but trust us, as more and more users are using the same scanning device, at a certain point someone does something stupid. And breaking the device is the least of our worries. Nowadays, doing a bit of damage to a machine, intentional or not, is usually easy and cheap to solve. Still, we don’t want that. And having a badge to allow working with the device decreases such chances.
The more important aspect though is scanning workflows, settings and profiles. First of all, not everyone is a tech savy user. A lot of people don’t know how to operate and switch between settings. For such users, having the settings personalized to their badge is a great thing. They just walk up to the scanner, push the scan button and images captured. Second of all there is another aspect that people should take into account.
When you don’t have controlled access, those scanning workflows might require changing to suit everyone’s needs. So you have one person changing something and the next person scanning will face a big issues. If he doesn’t notice it, that can become even more problematic. So switching between settings and changing the functions of the most important workflows can lead to time wasting or even grave mistakes. The workflow is fixed to a user, or at most, a user has 2-3 workflows to choose from.
Is it worth integrating a 3rd party card reader
Well for this the simple answer is yes. Mainly because Kodak has not integrated a phone app or another thing that can be deployed to users. Therefore there are two solutions, either build your own card reader or integrate another. But if you have your card reader and users have to carry another badge, your system will never be implemented.
In this case it was clear from the start. Find the most important card reading provider and implement his functionalities. This way you know that your system is ready to go. Just install your scanners with your card readers and in a couple of minutes you should be able to start configuring each user’s needs. Sounds simple, right ?
Some system administrators might tell you that it is easier in theory than it is in practice. Still, it’s a good feature to have and it will help sell more scanners in the corporate world. In reality, I personally don’t think it provides real added value. I think that in the corporate world, especially a small scanner, is not even considered when it comes to user personalization.
This might change in the near future, but as I see it, in the next couple of years at least, I don’t think it will happen. It might sound good on paper, but in reality this will take a bit to catch traction.