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VIDEO: Clarity Machine Vision Software – The Decode Plug-In

This video is a demonstration of Clarity’s Decode plug-in, so we’ll launch Clarity. What comes up first is a Clarity Setup window, offering you a choice of JADAK smart camera options [Options: FM-5, VIBE, SC-6, FM-6]. But we’re going to be working Offline, so we’ll just step through this, and it defaults to Offline [Options: Offline, USB]. Then next, this is a New Job [Options: New Job, Open From File].

The first thing we need to do is Acquire Image. We’re going to work with canned images, so we need to go to Acquire Image and select the jpegs [Open}. We’ve successfully brought those in.

The first thing that happens with the plug-ins is you have an Area [Region] of Interest, indicated by the blue dotted line. We want to work with the entire image, so we need to expand this window. These images are 640 x 480. The sample barcodes in this video are pretty pristine, but that’s not often a typical situation in OEM medical device environments. A lot of times the lighting or other conditions can make for less than ideal images. But Clarity also has a very powerful Image Process plug-in. And there’s a separate video dedicated to that plug-in that also utilizes barcodes to demonstrate. So if you have barcode imagery that really needs to be improved to get good readability, be sure to watch that video. In fact, I’d encourage you to watch the whole series.

These [images] are clean and they’ll suit our purpose. The first thing we’ve done is Acquire Image. The next thing is do the Image Process. Because they are jpeg images, technically they are color images, and we need to Convert them to Grayscale. We need to expand to convert the entire image, the Area of Interest to the full image. Then under the Process Type we need to Convert to Grayscale. Once we choose that, all of those images of the barcodes have now been converted to grayscale. And we are ready to decode.

Third step is Decode. You’ll see it’s surrounded by red, and that’s because it can’t see the entire barcode represented by this area of interest, so let’s expand the Area of Interest grabbing the corner handles. And we have success. Down here is the Decoded Message, it’s the information contained within the barcode and it’s also indicated within the image itself.

Let’s step through these barcodes and confirm that we’re successfully decoding these. CodeABar, and there’s our decoded message. Code 93 – we now have a red frame. The green frame means these steps were successful, but we now have a red frame around the Decode on this particular barcode. I know we’ve got the full area selected, it was converted to grayscale. So let’s go down to our Linear Code Config tab and see what might be happening here. It’s Code 93 and we don’t have Code 93 chosen as an enabled symbology. As we flip that on, we watch the frame turn from red to green, a successful reading. So let’s continue to run through these. Code 128 is good. Datamatrix is good. Interleaved 2/5 is good. One thing to point out quickly:  Originally linear barcodes when they were read by a laser scanner had to be oriented correctly. But because this is an imaging process, these barcodes can be in any direction and as long as there’s an image of it, the software can decode that image of the barcode. So in this case, even though it’s out of whack, it has no trouble reading it. Continue QR Code. UPC Code – we have another red frame.   So let’s go over to the 2D/Stacked Codes Config and… uh, oh it’s a Linear Code – success. Now we’re back to Aztec.

As we indicated you can see the Decode message in each of these. What Clarity does is you are creating a series of steps that ultimately creates a piece of code that is actually uploaded, a series of commands, that is uploaded to the JADAK smart camera. The camera takes this piece of code, runs the various steps on the camera, acquires the data. Then will output the data to the enterprise system or the network, or wherever that data stream needs to be sent to.

The point of Clarity is to allow you to create this specific piece of code, the process you want to accomplish, then upload it to the camera. At any point if you need to fine tune it as a possible option, you can also download that script, have it come back to Clarity, you can fine tune it then update that piece of code on the imager. So it’s really pretty powerful.

Let’s say we have thousands of barcodes, or the handful that we have, we can test as an Output stream and just run these. And we can see that we’ve successfully created a data file that can be sent out as a CSV file. In this case, all the decoded pieces of information in those various barcodes. Pretty straightforward.

As I said, be sure to watch the Image Process video as well as all the others to fine tune the actual source images themselves. This is an overview of the Clarity decode plug-in. Thanks for watching.