Cardstar iPhone Application: Scan 1D Barcodes from your LCD and Save!

 CardStar iPhone Application CardStar is a unique iPhone application that allows users to leave all of their rewards and membership cards at home and store the barcodes on their iPhone or iPod touch, where most common merchants can then scan the barcodes directly from the screen.

To the average consumer, this technology will definitely come in handy, but to us at, this technology is revolutionary. Previously, 1D barcodes, which are used at most stores, could not be scanned directly from the LCD screen. This is because while the human eye will see black and white barcodes, the screen is really made up of red, green, and blue lines, which interfere with a laser scanner. The folks at CardStar were able to get around this by re-configuring the way the barcode/image is rendered on the LCD in portrait mode.

In a controlled environment using a Symbol/Motorola M2008-1400-0100 ZNR barcode scanner, CardStar was able to achieve a 100% success rate in scanning various reward cards fromm different merchants. They decided to test their new technology in common chain stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Washington, DC and achieved an 80% success rate. However, there were many uncontrolled variables such as user error, lighting, and antiquated equipment, but CardStar continues to experiment in order to achieve the highest scan success rates possible.

In order to maximize scan rates, CardStar suggests that merchants use handheld scanners, and hold approximately 5-7 inches away, just shy of being perpendicular. Consumers can achieve successful scans by using high-quality screen protectors and making sure the phone is free of excessive fingerprints and dust.

Currently, CardStar offers a list of over 130 companies across 6 categories where you can start adding your card information for use on the application. Future plans for CardStar include implementing custom coupons based on buying habits that would be sent straight to your phone, appeasing both consumers and manufacturers. As Andy Miller, the brains behind CardStar says, it’s all about having “the right offer, at the right time, at the right place.” For a demonstration of how Cardstar works, you can view the video. If you’re interested in learning more about CardStar’s iPhone application, check out their website.