To date, workers outside the four walls have relied heavily on bar code scanning to bring new levels of automation, productivity and accuracy to data capture out in the field. While another form of data capture has emerged — the digital camera — use of images in enterprise applications has remained nearly non-existent, primarily due to the limited functionality. Today's standalone digital cameras offer rich detailed images with point-and-shoot simplicity — however, the cameras that are integrated into enterprise class mobile computers have typically lagged behind in features.
Inflexible, fixed focused and low resolution devices rendered it virtually impossible to capture pictures or documents that contained the details necessary to serve as business-class data. In addition, cellular network speeds did not offer the bandwidth required to quickly transmit a large image file, resulting in transmission delays as well as higher monthly cellular fees. Additionally, previous technology limits on mobile computers typically forced enterprises to choose between a mobile device that offered either a bar code scanner or a digital camera. Given the pervasive use of bar codes throughout the supply chain and enterprise, priority was usually given to bar code scanning. As a result, the digital camera remained an often untapped form of data capture in enterprise field applications.