Optimizing Inventory: Introducing Dynamsoft Panorama

The panorama feature in a smartphone camera is a popular consumer application. It lets users capture a very wide view of a scene by stitching together several photos. This feature, applied to industrial applications, can have different usage scenarios compared to the general consumer. Dynamsoft Panorama™ is a revolutionary inventory management solution for warehouse managers and others involved with inventory. It improves the use of an inventory barcode scanner by maximizing barcode reader recognition speed and accuracy and delivering results in real-time.

The Biggest Issue Facing Inventory Management

Controlling and overseeing a barcode inventory system accurately and efficiently is an important part of optimizing your supply chain. This is especially the case with automated storage and retrieval systems that have thousands or millions of SKUs. You need a barcode tracking software that delivers precision. Any missed, overlooked, or misplaced items result in inaccurate inventory count, which affects the entire chain all the way down to the customer.

Identifying the root cause of these inventory problems is paramount. Barcode readers strive for high recognition accuracy, but even a 99 percent success rate isn’t good enough. A miscount of one percent can have a big impact, especially when dealing with large scales.

In warehouse picking, errors cost $50-300 per error. For large businesses, each 100,000 picks could result in error costs as high as $30,000. An average company loses $390,000 annually to mis-picks. Thus, effective barcode asset tracking is essential.

Introducing the Dynamsoft Panorama™ Solution

Until now, no product on the market could guarantee that 100 percent of barcodes are scanned successfully during the reading process. When used appropriately, Dynamsoft Panorama™ has the promise of fixing a significant inventory management issue – the last one percent of scan error rates that cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars, and collectively billions annually.

Usage Scenarios

Using Dynamsoft Panorama™, a worker or automated machine moves alongside boxes or shelves with a camera while the barcode reader simultaneously captures the barcode images. Instantly, the warehouse manager receives a stitched image, which helps them to take a panoramic view of the situation and discover any missed barcodes in real-time, as well as see text results of the barcodes.

In cases where an automated robot or drone scans barcodes on a shelf, warehouse managers can observe the barcode scanning process remotely, enabling them to interact with the panoramic images and control the process.

Algorithm Advantages

Those who are familiar with photography are sure to understand how panorama stitching works – multiple images are compiled together to create a larger image. Stitching in Dynamsoft Panorama™ works the same way.

Compared with a general panorama algorithm, the advantage of Dynamsoft Panorama™comes from using the intermediate results from barcode recognition. It calculates a transformation matrix between two frames based on a variety of data:

  • Quadrilaterals of barcodes
  • Contours of objects
  • Line segments of objects
  • Localized SURF features

Although the stitching process is similar to how the general panorama smartphone feature works, time is significantly reduced because of the heuristic space range limitation from the former three data types.

Engineering Design

Aside from algorithmic advantages, some engineering skills are applied to improve the interactive performance of the Dynamsoft Panorama™ feature. The implementation is separated into two components: capturing and stitching. 

Dynamsoft Panorama™ offers two modes: Local mode and Server mode.

Local Mode

With the local mode, images are captured via the stream and are stitched together on the device (i.e. smartphone, tablet). Since this method requires sufficient storage and battery capacity, it may not be ideal for large projects.

Server Mode

With the Server mode, images are captured in a stream and uploaded to a computer via the network where they are stitched together. 

  • The capturing device is light and portable, such as a smartphone, whereas the stitching server needs to be powerful since it is responsible for generating and displaying the panoramic image. 
  • In real time, the stitching server would send commands that guide the capturing device to adjust its capture frame rate and capture speed as needed. In the stitching server, frames are buffered according to the available memory and are selected deliberately to balance between time and quality requirements. Multiple threads are designated to perform buffer management, frame selection, barcode recognition, transformation matrix calculation and image stitching respectively.

This method is ideal for both small and large projects since storage capacity and battery consumption are less of an issue. Also, since the stitched images are usually large, a bigger screen helps the warehouse manager better reviews the result.

Try it Free

Download the Dynamsoft Barcode Reader app today and try the new Panorama feature (currently in beta testing with plans to release soon).

Dynamsoft iOS app

Dynamsoft Google Play app

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