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HUAWEI HMS Scan Kit vs Zxing

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Freemind R

Official Huawei Rep
Apr 14, 2020

Brief Introduction of Both
Zxing is a common third-party open-source SDK. However, Zxing has the following defect: It only implements basic operations of scanning the QR code and does not support more complex scanning environments such as strong light, bending, and deformation. Currently, the mainstream practice is to optimize the source code based on Zxing. However, the optimization effect is still not ideal, and many people will spend a lot of time on the optimization.
The Huawei Scan Kit service provides convenient bar code and QR code scanning, parsing, and generation capabilities, helping developers quickly build the QR code scanning function in apps. Thanks to Huawei’s long-term accumulation in the computer vision field, Huawei’s unified barcode scanning service (Scan Kit) can detect and automatically amplify long-distance or small-sized codes, and optimize the identification of common complex barcode scanning scenarios (such as reflection, dark light, smudge, blur, and cylinder). Improves the QR code scanning success rate and user experience.
Now, let’s compare the capabilities of Zxing and Huawei HMS Scan Kit from the following aspects:

long-distance code scanning
The success of long-distance QR code scanning depends on the QR code specifications (the more information is, the more difficult it is to identify) and the distance between the camera and the QR code.
Due to the lack of automatic zoom-in optimization for Zxing, it is difficult to recognize the code when the code is less than 1/5 of the screen.
The HMS Scan Kit has a pre-detection function, which can automatically amplify the QR code at a long distance even if the QR code cannot be identified by naked eyes.


Conclusion: Scan Kit Wins

Scanning Codes in Complex Scenarios


In complex scenarios, code scanning can be classified into reflection, dark light, smudge, blur, and cylinder scanning. In complex scenarios, the recognition effect of Zxing is poor. Complex scenarios are as follows:
These scenarios are common in daily life. For example, outdoor scenarios such as reflection, dark light, and smudge may occur. When a QR code is attached to a product, curved surfaces or even edges and corners may occur. When you walk and scan the QR code, you will also encounter the challenge of motion blur. The following figure shows the test comparison in these scenarios.


Conclusion: Scan Kit Wins

Scan the QR code at any angle
Currently, Zxing supports only forward scanning, that is, Zxing cannot identify the code with a certain angle. Scan Kit can easily achieve this. When the code deflection is within 10 degrees, Zxing can still have high recognition accuracy. However, when the code deflection exceeds 10 degrees, the recognition accuracy of Zxing decreases sharply. However, Scan Kit is not affected by the clip angle, and the recognition accuracy does not decrease.

Comparison Conclusion: Scan Kit Wins

Multi-code identification comparison
Multi-code identification helps identify multiple codes at a time in scenarios such as express delivery and supermarket checkout, improving service processing efficiency. In multi-code identification mode, the Scan Kit can identify five types of codes on the screen at the same time and return the corresponding types and values of all codes at a time.


Conclusion: Scan Kit Wins

SDK Package Size
The size of the Zxing package is about 500 KB, which is a satisfactory size. Scan Kit has two modes: Lite and Pro. In Lite mode, the package size is 700 KB. In Pro mode, the package size is 3.3 MB. If you use the table, you will have a clearer understanding.

These two modes are slightly different on non-Huawei phones. Therefore, if you are not sensitive to the package size on non-Huawei phones, try to select the Pro version. I have also performed tests on non-Huawei Lite versions, but the test results are slightly lower than those of the Pro version.
Conclusion: Zxing has advantages.

Platform Support
Zxing and Scan Kit support both iOS and Android platforms.
Conclusion: The score is even.

Integration Modes
The integration mode of Zxing is relatively simple. It can be quickly integrated with SDK by only a few lines of code. However, in the actual product development process, the development of the product interface and auxiliary functions is also involved. However, Zxing does not provide the corresponding quick integration mode. The integration guide is available on the live network for a long time. Therefore, the development difficulty can be reduced. In summary, the first point in Zxing integration is that no default interface is available. Second, you need to achieve their own automatic amplification, flash and other functions.
Scan Kit provides multiple access modes, including single-code access, multi-code access, and customized access. The differences between the two integration modes are as follows:
The default layout is provided for the single-code access of Scan Kit cameras. In addition, functions such as automatic amplification and flash are preset. Developers do not need to manually configure these functions. The code integration volume is 5 lines, which is especially suitable for scenarios where quick integration and quick replacement of the QR code scanning function are required.
The customized access of Scan Kit allows users to design the layout by themselves. Only the basic functions and blank layout of scanning and decoding are provided. Users can design the layout based on their app style. However, they need to implement functions such as automatic zoom and flash. The corresponding technical documents can be found on the optical network of Huawei developers. However, compared with the single-code access, this access mode is more complicated.
The integration mode is as follows:
1. Create a project and import the Zxing module.
2. Add rights and dynamically apply for rights.
3. Copy the onActivity method.
4. Invoking the Decoding Function
5. Compile the UI and ensure that the UI is correctly displayed.
Scan Kit
The default view mode provides two functions: camera QR code scanning and image-based QR code scanning. In this mode, developers do not need to develop the UI for QR code scanning.
The process is almost the same as that of Zxing.
1. Create a project and import the Scan Kit module.
2. Add permissions and dynamically apply for permissions.
3. Copy the onActivity method.
4. Invoke the decoding function.
The following uses the Default View Mode as an example to describe the integration procedure.
Create a project and add online dependency in the app/build.gradle file.


2. Declare the QR code scanning page in the AndroidManifest.xml file of the calling module.

<!-Camera permission-->
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.CAMERA" />
<!--Reading the file permission-->
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />
<uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.camera" />
<uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.camera.autofocus" />

3. Create QR code scanning options based on the site requirements.

HmsScanAnalyzerOptions options = new HmsScanAnalyzerOptions.Creator().setHmsScanTypes(HmsScan.QRCODE_SCAN_TYPE, HmsScan.DATAMATRIX_SCAN_TYPE).create();

4. Invoke the static method startScan of ScanUtil to start the Default View QR code scanning page.

ScanUtil.startScan(this, REQUEST_CODE_SCAN_ONE, options);

The comparison shows that Scan Kit and Zxing have the same dependency and permission application methods. However, Scan Kit can use the UI by default (with built-in flash, automatic focal length, and QR code import). Zxing needs to implement the UI by itself, then, manually complete these functions.
Conclusion: Scan Kit Wins
Technical Analysis
Why is Scankit better than Zxing? The following describes the technical analysis of Zxing and Scan Kit from the perspective of technical implementation principles.
Zxing uses the traditional recognition algorithm. It can detect codes by analyzing the codes from a certain angle. This algorithm allows only a certain degree of deformation, for example, the square code can be slightly skewed by less than 10 degrees, his pixels still fit the pattern, but if they’re deformed too much or angularly too large, they can’t detect the position of the code. The detection process of ZXing is classified into two types: one-dimensional code detection and two-dimensional code serial detection.
In one-dimensional code detection, Zxing uses a progressive scanning mechanism for feature recognition. Because one-dimensional code features are black-and-white crossover, when the black-and-white sequence with equal spacing of the class is identified, it is considered as a potential code. The length of the potential code is determined by finding the start bit and the end bit. Then, the sequence is sent to different one-dimensional code decoding modules for serial decoding, which takes a long time. When serial decoding fails, a failure message is displayed, and the failure time is also long. In addition, once the one-dimensional code has a wrinkle, rotation, or deformation, a sequence that meets a specific requirement cannot be found through progressive scanning, that is, the one-dimensional code cannot be detected in a complex condition.

1、Quiet zone(fround) 2.Start character 3.Data symbols 4.Terminator 5、Quiet zone(behind)
In two-dimensional code detection, Zxing uses different detection algorithms for different two-dimensional codes. For example, the most common QR code has three location detection patterns. Therefore, Zxing still uses the interlaced scanning mode to find the features of the location detection pattern. Once the features whose black-and-white ratio is 1:1:3:1:1 are found, that is, a central point of the position detection graph is used as a reference point to perform affine transformation, so that the corrected picture is sent to the QR decoding module. The positioning point of the QR code has a function of correcting rotation, and therefore can be well adapted to a rotation situation. However, Zxing is completely unable to process cases such as partial blocking, deformation, and contaminating and reflecting of the positioning point. As shown in the figure, the detection position detection graph is the most important step for detecting whether the two-dimensional code is successfully detected. Once a location fails to be detected, the two-dimensional code cannot be detected.

Scan Kit uses the deep learning algorithm, which is spatially invariant. By training detectors of corresponding code types, Scan Kit can quickly find all required codes.
Actual process:


The bar code detection module and angle prediction module use the deep learning model.
Barcode detection: The serial process of separate detection of two-dimensional codes of one-dimensional codes in Zxing is no longer restricted. A trained detector can be used to directly obtain the code pattern and corresponding position. The bar code can be accurately sent to the corresponding decoding module through one detection, and a separate serial decoding process is no longer required. Because decoding includes a series of operations with high overheads such as skipping scanning, and information of different codes cannot be shared, this operation greatly reduces an end-to-end delay, and avoids a lot of repeated and unnecessary calculation overheads.

Angle prediction: The corresponding three-bit angle of the code is returned for radiographic transformation. In practice, the core of barcode detection is to accurately obtain boundary points. After being converted into binary images, the images are sent to the decoding module, but the decoding effect is still poor. This is also the most important step to solve the bar code identification in complex scenarios.

To sum up, the deep learning changes the serial detection and decoding process of the barcode of Zxing to a parallel process. In addition, the three-digit angle value of the barcode is returned. After the affine change, the aligned standard front barcode is obtained. This greatly improves the barcode detection success rate and greatly reduces the latency.