Symbol Technologies CRS-1 Ring scanner

  • The CRS1 was essentially the first bluetooth cordless ringscanner capable of scanning up to 5000 scans per shift while providing two hands free for the user to do their job.
     
    This project was a non-commercial custom design for a major mail carrier. 40,000+ units ended up being deployed in the facilities, cutting the cord on wearable for the first time. The time of release was 1999, I seem to recall...
     
    Photography by Bill Albrecht
  • The magnesium housing proved to be essential to hit the target weight and make it comfortable to wear for very long hours in a warehouse environment. It has no sharp edges and the 'sinewy' shape is designed to look like an extension of your hand. The audio and visual feedback also is directed straight at the user through the rear cutout.

    Photography by Bill Albrecht
  • The problem with any metal housing, how do you transfer the wireless signal through an IP65 enclosed, sealed shell?
    We got a patent for overmolding the antenna element into the plastic window bezel. The 'ring' perimeter of the magnesium actually enhanced the signal, problem solved.
     
    Photography by Bill Albrecht
  • Viewed here are various prototypes of the ring scanner, from preliminary wax models to SLAs and early cast magnesium housings. It was the eternal designers struggle to pack loads of battery and components into the smallest shell possible and still be viable as a handheld scanner...
     
    Photography by Bill Albrecht
  • The CRS ring scanner was affectionately nicknamed the 'Turtle'.  You can see from these screenshots how apt a name it was; the device has a strong & lightweight magnesium outershell protecting the all-important internal components from damage.
     
    Screenshot from Alias
  • The user's hand knuckles needed to be protected from abrasion and potential hit points. We overmolded a bra-strap for a two-finger custom strap and we added rubber to the underside of the battery pack. Problem solved.
     
    Screenshot from Alias
  • 50% of the volume was consumed by a rather large, custom-designed Li-Ion battery cell. As a consummable, its power fades after about 1 year of usage, but due to the dual snap is easily swapped for a new one.
     
    Screenshot from Alias
  • You can see the component setup: dual pcb with sandwiched engine, speaker/LED and battery assembly.