Tuesday, July 24, 2007

VIN Decoding with the Socket SoMo Handheld PDA & Socket Scanner on GM Automobiles

MobileDataforce is involved with a lot of mobile software project's in the automotive industry. Paintless Dent Removal, windshield repair, automobile bumper repair, upholstery repair, etc. Many of these projects we work on use the ability to scan the barcode VIN (vehicle identification number) on the automobile. Scanning the VIN enables you to quickly pull up all the relevant data on the car and to uniquely identify the car you are servicing.

Yesterday we tried to use the new Socket Pocket PC with an add-on Socket barcode scanner to read the VIN on a General Motors vehicle. No luck. GM automobiles all have their VIN number with barcode on the dashboard so you must scan through the windshield. The scanner is just not bright enough to penetrate the windshield under full sun. This is not unique since about the only device we have tested that does this well in the Psion Teklogix WorkAbout Pro with a laser scanner.

In defense of the Socket SoMo - we are very impressed with the speed of this device and it's PDA capabilities. Our Product Manager uses it daily in the office.