About Jason Claggett

Jason has been engineering complex hardware solutions and transforming outdated company networks into state of the art technology centers for over 15 years. His background with manufacturers and distributors focuses on the evaluation, recommendation, and implementation of technology solutions that enable automation. As a technology expert and senior consultant, Jason is skilled at installing and configuring Manufacturing Execution Systems, shop floor process improvement, and all matter of data interchange and digital automation for SMEs.


What follows is part one of a multi-part blog post on selecting handheld mobile barcode scanners. Many questions, thoughts, and general discussions take place during the selection process. I will attempt to give you some overall guidance, but ultimately your decision should be based on your internal operations and preferences.

There are several key components to any mobile handheld scanner:

  • Imager Type
  • WiFi/Cellular Connection
  • Operating System (Windows Mobile or Android)
  • Working Conditions
  • Integrated Camera

Where To Begin Evaluating Barcode Scanners

Arguably the single most important component of barcode scanners (and why it’s listed first) is the imager type. You will need to know what the average scan range will be in order to determine a suitable scanner. For instance, if your operators will do close-up scanning (i.e. 1-5 feet) a standard range scanner will work fine in most cases. However, if you intend to have operators scanning from floor-level up to products on a higher shelf, consider an extended range imager. An extended range imager will be more expensive but able to perform both standard and extended range scans.

A close second criterion to evaluate is the ability for your imager to read 1D and 2D (QR codes) barcodes. If you decide (or your supplier decides) to start using QR codes, you will need to make sure to have 2D scanning capabilities. Most modern imagers accommodate 2D scanning, but it is something to note when shopping around. While we’re talking about 1D and 2D barcodes, it’s worth mentioning to always make sure your mobile handheld device supports a wide range of barcode symbologies. Symbologies are the different style of barcodes and are very important, but extremely technical and not suitable for discussion here. You can read more about the history of the barcode and symbologies here.

I’ll cover more aspects of the handheld in part two of this series….

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


As I mentioned in the previous post, a bigger concern in 4G Versus 5G Wireless Technology is a physics problem – more specifically, an electromagnetic spectrum issue. If you’ll recall from your science class days, the electromagnetic spectrum is a collection of all known frequencies in the universe [reference image below]. Here in the United States, the spectrum is tightly regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and frequencies are auctioned off to the highest bidder. If you want to learn more about how this works, check out the FCC’s website.

4G Versus 5G Wireless Technology Wavelengths

Let’s dive in and hopefully, I won’t lose you in the physics behind this – it’s important and the reason why 5G is slow to make any kind of traction. 5G operates at a higher frequency range (called millimeter waves) than legacy technologies. This gives 5G the speed and low-latency capabilities advertised but with a trade-off. Here is where the crux of the problem lies, physics dictates the higher the frequency the shorter the wavelength – which, if you’re keeping up, means higher speeds over shorter distances.

An image of 4G Versus 5G Wireless Technology wavelengths

Well, how short of a distance are we talking about here? Currently, it is about 100 meters. No need to adjust your monitor you read that right, 100 meters or about 300 ft on a clear day with no obstructions. In order to make 5G a reality, we will need millions of “stations” set up all over the country ranging from our neighborhoods to our highways. That’s not all, the signal is so fragile and prone to interruptions that stations will likely be in our houses before too long. Because of its limited scope, fewer subscribers will be able to access from a single cell tower.

I am not one to end on a sour note, but in my opinion, there are too many unanswered questions as to whether or not 5G will ever be more than a pipe dream. Some cities, such as Charlotte, NC, are working with lawmakers to bring 5G to their city for testing autonomous vehicles and other such technologies. It is still in the early stages and it’s proving to be an expensive endeavor. Some telecom companies expect to invest $275 billion into 5G infrastructure by 2025. For now, this technologist is in a holding pattern.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


As with any next-generation technology, headwinds and setbacks are bound to occur. When I hear the word headwind, I immediately recall my days as a road-warrior consultant and the vast number of airline miles I’ve racked up through the years. On occasion, an airliner will encounter headwinds slowing it down, but it keeps flying and eventually arrives at its destination – maybe not as soon as you would have liked. So too is the road ahead for 5G. Let’s jump right into the third-installment of our 4G versus 5G wireless technology series.

4G Versus 5G Wireless: What’s Stopping Advancement

Over the next two posts, I will cover two of the concerns keeping 5G technology from really taking flight. Security and unauthorized access to private small-cell networks is the first concern. Fortunately, this is likely solvable given enough resources. The signalling protocols (SS7) developed for earlier generation cell technologies are inadequate to handle the demand being placed on 5G networks.

In Part 1, I mentioned 5G is 10x faster than 4G. As a result of these faster speeds, it will open up new avenues for cybersecurity threats. Much like your home or office networks now, you will do more of these functions over 5G cellular networks. Things like email, video conferences, streaming NetFlix, e-commerce, and online banking will all be new avenues for cybercriminals. By a show of hands, how many of you have antivirus on your cell phones or cellular-connected devices today? Not many, if any.

Despite this challenge, many security experts predict increasingly complex security measures will emerge in the next twelve to eighteen months. These security advancements will give peace of mind to companies looking to harness the power and speed of 5G technology.

In part 4, I will examine the second biggest headwind; you might want to brush up on your physics.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


5G wireless technology has a lot of potential. In this post, I will explore several of the front-running industries setting themselves apart by taking advantage of 5G.

Ten years ago, autonomous vehicles were just getting started and were thought to be something out of “The Jetsons”. Fast-forward a few years and we finally have driverless cars being tested in some areas of the country. The backbone behind this? 5G technology. That’s right 5G is the mobile technology that will propel self-driving vehicles into large-scale adoption; you can read more about it here. Let’s continue the 5G vs 4G conversation taking place right now.

5G Wireless Technology In The Near Future

In the next few years, the healthcare industry is anticipating the use of 5G to quickly and reliably transmit large data files. MRI images, for example, currently take a long time to transfer over the network to other doctors or specialists. By using 5G technology, these transmissions will become quicker, more reliable and sent in a secure manner to protect patient privacy. Healthcare systems also will use 5G to stream real-time high-quality video for better doctor-patient interaction. By doing so providers will make tele-medicine an everyday occurrence. You can read a bit more about that, here.

an image of healthcare professionals and patients leveraging 5g wireless technology

How John Deere Plan To Leverage 5G Wireless Technology

When you hear the name John Deere, visions of tractors and Midwest America pop into your head, right? What if I told you this 180-year-old bellwether of a company is leading the charge in farming automation? You’d probably think I’m crazy – and you might be right – but not because of this. John Deere, with its acquisition of Blue River, is looking to advance farm equipment well beyond what most people thought possible. With their integration of automated driving technology, computer vision systems and applications, some experts believe farmers will be able to double or triple their annual yield. Learn about 5G and the future of farming here.

Up Next For 5G Wireless Technology

While 5G wireless technology promises huge disruption in just about every global industry, it is not without resistance. There are quite a few barriers for 5G to overcome before it’s ubiquitous and in part 3 of this series, I will discuss some of the headwinds 5G wireless technology faces in the coming years.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Before talking about the future, we need to reminisce a bit. Remember when 4G technology was a pioneer in wireless networking? Remember when everyone wanted the latest smartphone so they could stream videos, check Facebook or be the first to tweet about something the Kardashian’s did? Remember when everyone was excited about the latest-n-greatest and we all rushed out to get on the 4G bandwidth wagon – if you didn’t you weren’t one of the “cool kids”. Remember your first analog cell phone or bag phone with a curly “Q” car antenna (fake or otherwise)? Don’t kid yourself, you know you do! Now, we sit on the precipice of a new technological breakthrough in the form of 5G wireless connectivity. Here’s a bit about the 5G vs 4G conversation taking place right now.

What Is 5G Wireless Technology?

With big cellular conglomerates launching 5G cellular networks this year, you might be asking yourself–What is 5G? The G stands for generation, as in the 5th generation of wireless network technology. 5G wireless tech promises faster transfer rates, lower latency, and bigger bandwidth by orders of magnitude. However, Don’t get too excited just yet. Full utilization of 5G wireless networks is still out of reach for the everyday consumer.

The actual 5G radio system, known as 5G New Radio (5G-NR), isn’t compatible with 4G. However, 5G enabled devices will rely on existing 4G infrastructure where applicable until a connection to a 5G wireless network is possible. This whole effort is part of ongoing wireless connectivity’s evolution and is currently on target to meet the usage requirements outlined in the International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020). The requirements include such capabilities as a maximum achievable data rate of 20Gbit/s, 1ms Radio network contribution to packet travel time (read latency), and a total traffic coverage area of 1000 (Mbit/s)/m2.

How 5G Wireless Networks Will Impact Our Lives

Recently, I attended a seminar regarding the new 5G or “fifth generation” cell technology. It was an informative seminar shedding light on the future of 5G in the next five to ten years. As a primer to what’s ahead, 5G offers 10x the bandwidth and faster data transfers than current 4G technology (think wire speed through your cell phone)! Imagine streaming Netflix, Amazon or other online content with a fraction of the buffering time or downloads happening 10x faster. While something to certainly be excited about and cellular providers are licking their chops to charge you more money (for those of us still on a capped data plan), there are several hurdles and challenges to overcome before mainstream adoption takes place. Over the next few blog posts, I will outline areas where 5G technology will enter the market place and several of the biggest challenges facing world-wide adoption.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing the emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.