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Linux barcode scanner uses OLED display

Nov 12, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

An Estonian embedded design house has developed a data-collection barcode scanner and PDA with an OLED display. Billed as the first OLED-equipped mobile terminal device, Artec's Triskan TS8 Professional Mobile Terminal runs embedded Linux on an ARM processor, and includes Bluetooth and GSM/GPRS, with optional WiFi.

(Click for larger view of the Triskan TS8)

Developed by Estonia-based The Artec Group, the Triskan is being distributed and marketed by Finland-based ProComponent for the Scandinavian market. The device is aimed at data collection applications in retail, warehousing, transportation, manufacturing, and healthcare environments, says the vendor.

The Triskan is built around an undisclosed ARM processor and is equipped with 32MB of SDRAM, upgradable to 64MB, with 16MB of flash, and an SD card slot supporting up to 2GB, says Artec. The 2.8-inch QVGA display offers 320 x 240 resolution, and a claimed 10,000:1 contrast ratio. OLED (organic light emitting diode) displays use organic dyes to provide a softer light with better contrast, and they typically draw less power. OLED is appearing more and more in the smaller external displays of handsets, such as the Motorola U9, and has also made appearances in other small-format screens, such as Dreamax's head-mounted Indicube i-800 PMP.

Different views of the Triskan
(Click to enlarge)

The Triskan offers 1D or or optional 2D barcode scanning, and also offers options for HF (high frequency) RFID, as well as smart-card data input, says Artec. The device is said to provide both Bluetooth and a GSM/GPRS modem as standard features, and offers WiFi and CDMA connectivity as options. A mini-USB slot is offered for software updates, says the vendor.

The Triskan's sealed, 23-button keypad is backlit, and said to be designed to resist spills. The removable Li-Ion battery can be charged when attached to the Triskan or charged separately. Artec did not provide details on the Linux implementation, but says that a Linux based development environment will be made available to certified software development partners.

Specifications listed for Artec's Triskan TS8 ProfessionalMobile Terminal include:

  • Processor — ARM processor
  • Memory — 32MB SDRAM (factory-upgradable to 64MB)
  • Flash — 16MB; supports SD cards up to 2GB
  • Display — 2.8-inch OLED QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) 65k colors; landscape; 10,000:1 contrast
  • Communications — Quad-band GSM/GPRS; optional WiFi, CDMA
  • USB — 1 x mini-USB service connector
  • Bluetooth — standard Bluetooth 2.0 baseband controller
  • Keypad — 23 bubble button sealed keypad
  • Scanner — 1D Laser; optional 2D laser, RFID, or smart-card “Chip-Card”
  • Barcode support — all common 1D barcodes including EAN, Code-39, Code-128
  • Battery — replaceable, rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer 2000mAh; charges at 5V @ 1A
  • Dimensions — 7.6 x 3.1 x 1.3 inches (194 x 78 x 32mm)
  • Weight — 8.8 oz (250 gr)
  • Operating temperature — 23 to 131 deg. F (-5 to 55 deg. C)
  • Operating system — embedded Linux

Artec's other products include a Linux- and Windows-ready LPC Dongle with a USB programming/debug interface, as well as a “BioDSP” board equipped with a Xilinx Spartan3 FPGA (field-programmable gate array). Software offerings include its “ORLL” (Option-ROM Linux Loader), which is said to load a Linux 2.2 or 2.4 kernel from flash to RAM for execution. It also offers a “Linux Device NAS” (network-attached storage) software package. Artec does not detail the Linux implementations used in these products.


Artec's Triskan TS8 ProfessionalMobile Terminal appears to be available now, at an undisclosed price, from ProComponent, here. The Artec Group site may be found here, but at present there appears to be no information on the Triskan TS8 on the site.

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