Patent Number: 6,637,659

Title: Automatically-activated hand-supportable omni-directional laser scanning bar code symbol reading system with data transmission activation switch

Abstract: Disclosed is an automatically-activated omni-directional laser scanning bar code symbol reading system comprising a bar code symbol reading mechanism contained within a hand-supportable housing having a light transmission aperture and manually-actuatable data transmission switch. During symbol reading operations, the bar code symbol reading mechanism automatically projects a visible omni-directional laser scanning pattern through the light transmission aperture for repeatedly reading one or more bar code symbols on an object during a bar code symbol reading cycle, and automatically generating a new symbol character data string in response to each bar code symbol read thereby. During system operation, the user presents a bar code symbol on an object (e.g. product, bar code menu, etc.) within the omni-directional laser scanning pattern so that the bar code symbol is automatically scanned, detected and decoded in a cyclical manner. Each time the scanned bar code symbol is successfully read during a bar code symbol reading cycle, a new bar code symbol character string is produced, while an indicator light on the hand-supportable housing is actively driven. During the bar code symbol reading cycle, the user actuates the data transmission switch producing a data transmission control activation signal and enabling a symbol character data string produced at substantially the same time when the data transmission control activation signal is generated to be transmitted to the host system. By virtue of the present invention, automatically-activated hand-supportable omni-directional laser scanning bar code symbol readers are now able to accurately read, in an unprecedented manner, bar code symbols on bar code menus, consumer products positioned in crowded point-of-sale environments, and other objects requiring automatic identification and/or information access.

Inventors: Wilz, Sr.; David M. (Sewell, NJ), Rockstein; George (Audubon, NJ), Blake; Robert E. (Woodbury Heights, NJ), Schmidt; Mark (Williamstown, NJ), Russell; Garrett (Wilmington, DE), Knowles; C. Harry (Moorestown, NJ)

Assignee: Metrologic Instruments, Inc.

International Classification: G06K 9/22 (20060101); G06K 7/10 (20060101); G06K 007/10 (); G06K 009/22 ()

Expiration Date: 10/28/2011