One of the key pieces of information for discovering bibliographic data will be the barcodes on the books – either the barcode used by the Library at the University of Bristol or the ISBN numbers associated with the books.
It would be nice if we could take advantage of the camera on the device to scan the barcode and save the user from having to type the numbers in manually. There are a couple of libraries for scanning barcodes:
- ZXing (Zebra Crossing) – a Java library with Android support. There is also a partial port to iOS that only supports QR Codes.
- ZBar – a C library that has bindings for a number of languages and includes an SDK for the iPhone.
These libraries have good support for a number of formats such as UPC-A, EAN-8, Code 128 and QR Codes. However, they don’t support the proprietary telepen format that is very popular in UK academic and public libraries.
It therefore seems that one of the first key development tasks will be adapting one of the libraries to support for telepen barcodes.