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Scan Barcodes with ML Kit on Android

You can use ML Kit to recognize and decode barcodes.

See the ML Kit Material Design showcase app and the ML Kit quickstart sample on GitHub for examples of this API in use.

Before you begin

  1. If you haven't already, add Firebase to your Android project.
  2. In your project-level build.gradle file, make sure to include Google's Maven repository in both your buildscript and allprojects sections.
  3. Add the dependencies for the ML Kit Android libraries to your module (app-level) Gradle file (usually app/build.gradle):
    dependencies {
      // ...
    
      implementation 'com.google.firebase:firebase-ml-vision:24.0.1'
      implementation 'com.google.firebase:firebase-ml-vision-barcode-model:16.0.1'
    }
    apply plugin: 'com.google.gms.google-services'
    

Input image guidelines

  • For ML Kit to accurately read barcodes, input images must contain barcodes that are represented by sufficient pixel data.

    The specific pixel data requirements are dependent on both the type of barcode and the amount of data that is encoded in it (since most barcodes support a variable length payload). In general, the smallest meaningful unit of the barcode should be at least 2 pixels wide (and for 2-dimensional codes, 2 pixels tall).

    For example, EAN-13 barcodes are made up of bars and spaces that are 1, 2, 3, or 4 units wide, so an EAN-13 barcode image ideally has bars and spaces that are at least 2, 4, 6, and 8 pixels wide. Because an EAN-13 barcode is 95 units wide in total, the barcode should be at least 190 pixels wide.

    Denser formats, such as PDF417, need greater pixel dimensions for ML Kit to reliably read them. For example, a PDF417 code can have up to 34 17-unit wide "words" in a single row, which would ideally be at least 1156 pixels wide.

  • Poor image focus can hurt scanning accuracy. If you aren't getting acceptable results, try asking the user to recapture the image.

  • For typical applications, it is recommended to provide a higher resolution image (such as 1280x720 or 1920x1080), which makes barcodes detectable from a larger distance away from the camera.

    However, in applications where latency is critical, you can improve performance by capturing images at a lower resolution, but requiring that the barcode make up the majority of the input image. Also see Tips to improve real-time performance.

1. Configure the barcode detector

If you know which barcode formats you expect to read, you can improve the speed of the barcode detector by configuring it to only detect those formats.

For example, to detect only Aztec code and QR codes, build a FirebaseVisionBarcodeDetectorOptions object as in the following example:

Java

FirebaseVisionBarcodeDetectorOptions options =
        new FirebaseVisionBarcodeDetectorOptions.Builder()
        .setBarcodeFormats(
                FirebaseVisionBarcode.FORMAT_QR_CODE,
                FirebaseVisionBarcode.FORMAT_AZTEC)
        .build();

Kotlin

val options = FirebaseVisionBarcodeDetectorOptions.Builder()
        .setBarcodeFormats(
                FirebaseVisionBarcode.FORMAT_QR_CODE,
                FirebaseVisionBarcode.FORMAT_AZTEC)
        .build()

The following formats are supported:

  • Code 128 (FORMAT_CODE_128)
  • Code 39 (FORMAT_CODE_39)
  • Code 93 (FORMAT_CODE_93)
  • Codabar (FORMAT_CODABAR)
  • EAN-13 (FORMAT_EAN_13)
  • EAN-8 (FORMAT_EAN_8)
  • ITF (FORMAT_ITF)
  • UPC-A (FORMAT_UPC_A)
  • UPC-E (FORMAT_UPC_E)
  • QR Code (FORMAT_QR_CODE)
  • PDF417 (FORMAT_PDF417)
  • Aztec (FORMAT_AZTEC)
  • Data Matrix (FORMAT_DATA_MATRIX)

2. Run the barcode detector

To recognize barcodes in an image, create a FirebaseVisionImage object from either a Bitmap, media.Image, ByteBuffer, byte array, or a file on the device. Then, pass the FirebaseVisionImage object to the FirebaseVisionBarcodeDetector's detectInImage method.

  1. Create a FirebaseVisionImage object from your image.

    • To create a FirebaseVisionImage object from a media.Image object, such as when capturing an image from a device's camera, pass the media.Image object and the image's rotation to FirebaseVisionImage.fromMediaImage().

      If you use the CameraX library, the OnImageCapturedListener and ImageAnalysis.Analyzer classes calculate the rotation value for you, so you just need to convert the rotation to one of ML Kit's ROTATION_ constants before calling FirebaseVisionImage.fromMediaImage():

      Java

      private class YourAnalyzer implements ImageAnalysis.Analyzer {
      
          private int degreesToFirebaseRotation(int degrees) {
              switch (degrees) {
                  case 0:
                      return FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_0;
                  case 90:
                      return FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_90;
                  case 180:
                      return FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_180;
                  case 270:
                      return FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_270;
                  default:
                      throw new IllegalArgumentException(
                              "Rotation must be 0, 90, 180, or 270.");
              }
          }
      
          @Override
          public void analyze(ImageProxy imageProxy, int degrees) {
              if (imageProxy == null || imageProxy.getImage() == null) {
                  return;
              }
              Image mediaImage = imageProxy.getImage();
              int rotation = degreesToFirebaseRotation(degrees);
              FirebaseVisionImage image =
                      FirebaseVisionImage.fromMediaImage(mediaImage, rotation);
              // Pass image to an ML Kit Vision API
              // ...
          }
      }
      

      Kotlin

      private class YourImageAnalyzer : ImageAnalysis.Analyzer {
          private fun degreesToFirebaseRotation(degrees: Int): Int = when(degrees) {
              0 -> FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_0
              90 -> FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_90
              180 -> FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_180
              270 -> FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_270
              else -> throw Exception("Rotation must be 0, 90, 180, or 270.")
          }
      
          override fun analyze(imageProxy: ImageProxy?, degrees: Int) {
              val mediaImage = imageProxy?.image
              val imageRotation = degreesToFirebaseRotation(degrees)
              if (mediaImage != null) {
                  val image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromMediaImage(mediaImage, imageRotation)
                  // Pass image to an ML Kit Vision API
                  // ...
              }
          }
      }
      

      If you don't use a camera library that gives you the image's rotation, you can calculate it from the device's rotation and the orientation of camera sensor in the device:

      Java

      private static final SparseIntArray ORIENTATIONS = new SparseIntArray();
      static {
          ORIENTATIONS.append(Surface.ROTATION_0, 90);
          ORIENTATIONS.append(Surface.ROTATION_90, 0);
          ORIENTATIONS.append(Surface.ROTATION_180, 270);
          ORIENTATIONS.append(Surface.ROTATION_270, 180);
      }
      
      /**
       * Get the angle by which an image must be rotated given the device's current
       * orientation.
       */
      @RequiresApi(api = Build.VERSION_CODES.LOLLIPOP)
      private int getRotationCompensation(String cameraId, Activity activity, Context context)
              throws CameraAccessException {
          // Get the device's current rotation relative to its "native" orientation.
          // Then, from the ORIENTATIONS table, look up the angle the image must be
          // rotated to compensate for the device's rotation.
          int deviceRotation = activity.getWindowManager().getDefaultDisplay().getRotation();
          int rotationCompensation = ORIENTATIONS.get(deviceRotation);
      
          // On most devices, the sensor orientation is 90 degrees, but for some
          // devices it is 270 degrees. For devices with a sensor orientation of
          // 270, rotate the image an additional 180 ((270 + 270) % 360) degrees.
          CameraManager cameraManager = (CameraManager) context.getSystemService(CAMERA_SERVICE);
          int sensorOrientation = cameraManager
                  .getCameraCharacteristics(cameraId)
                  .get(CameraCharacteristics.SENSOR_ORIENTATION);
          rotationCompensation = (rotationCompensation + sensorOrientation + 270) % 360;
      
          // Return the corresponding FirebaseVisionImageMetadata rotation value.
          int result;
          switch (rotationCompensation) {
              case 0:
                  result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_0;
                  break;
              case 90:
                  result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_90;
                  break;
              case 180:
                  result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_180;
                  break;
              case 270:
                  result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_270;
                  break;
              default:
                  result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_0;
                  Log.e(TAG, "Bad rotation value: " + rotationCompensation);
          }
          return result;
      }

      Kotlin

      private val ORIENTATIONS = SparseIntArray()
      
      init {
          ORIENTATIONS.append(Surface.ROTATION_0, 90)
          ORIENTATIONS.append(Surface.ROTATION_90, 0)
          ORIENTATIONS.append(Surface.ROTATION_180, 270)
          ORIENTATIONS.append(Surface.ROTATION_270, 180)
      }
      /**
       * Get the angle by which an image must be rotated given the device's current
       * orientation.
       */
      @RequiresApi(api = Build.VERSION_CODES.LOLLIPOP)
      @Throws(CameraAccessException::class)
      private fun getRotationCompensation(cameraId: String, activity: Activity, context: Context): Int {
          // Get the device's current rotation relative to its "native" orientation.
          // Then, from the ORIENTATIONS table, look up the angle the image must be
          // rotated to compensate for the device's rotation.
          val deviceRotation = activity.windowManager.defaultDisplay.rotation
          var rotationCompensation = ORIENTATIONS.get(deviceRotation)
      
          // On most devices, the sensor orientation is 90 degrees, but for some
          // devices it is 270 degrees. For devices with a sensor orientation of
          // 270, rotate the image an additional 180 ((270 + 270) % 360) degrees.
          val cameraManager = context.getSystemService(CAMERA_SERVICE) as CameraManager
          val sensorOrientation = cameraManager
                  .getCameraCharacteristics(cameraId)
                  .get(CameraCharacteristics.SENSOR_ORIENTATION)!!
          rotationCompensation = (rotationCompensation + sensorOrientation + 270) % 360
      
          // Return the corresponding FirebaseVisionImageMetadata rotation value.
          val result: Int
          when (rotationCompensation) {
              0 -> result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_0
              90 -> result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_90
              180 -> result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_180
              270 -> result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_270
              else -> {
                  result = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.ROTATION_0
                  Log.e(TAG, "Bad rotation value: $rotationCompensation")
              }
          }
          return result
      }

      Then, pass the media.Image object and the rotation value to FirebaseVisionImage.fromMediaImage():

      Java

      FirebaseVisionImage image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromMediaImage(mediaImage, rotation);

      Kotlin

      val image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromMediaImage(mediaImage, rotation)
    • To create a FirebaseVisionImage object from a file URI, pass the app context and file URI to FirebaseVisionImage.fromFilePath(). This is useful when you use an ACTION_GET_CONTENT intent to prompt the user to select an image from their gallery app.

      Java

      FirebaseVisionImage image;
      try {
          image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromFilePath(context, uri);
      } catch (IOException e) {
          e.printStackTrace();
      }

      Kotlin

      val image: FirebaseVisionImage
      try {
          image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromFilePath(context, uri)
      } catch (e: IOException) {
          e.printStackTrace()
      }
    • To create a FirebaseVisionImage object from a ByteBuffer or a byte array, first calculate the image rotation as described above for media.Image input.

      Then, create a FirebaseVisionImageMetadata object that contains the image's height, width, color encoding format, and rotation:

      Java

      FirebaseVisionImageMetadata metadata = new FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.Builder()
              .setWidth(480)   // 480x360 is typically sufficient for
              .setHeight(360)  // image recognition
              .setFormat(FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.IMAGE_FORMAT_NV21)
              .setRotation(rotation)
              .build();

      Kotlin

      val metadata = FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.Builder()
              .setWidth(480) // 480x360 is typically sufficient for
              .setHeight(360) // image recognition
              .setFormat(FirebaseVisionImageMetadata.IMAGE_FORMAT_NV21)
              .setRotation(rotation)
              .build()

      Use the buffer or array, and the metadata object, to create a FirebaseVisionImage object:

      Java

      FirebaseVisionImage image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromByteBuffer(buffer, metadata);
      // Or: FirebaseVisionImage image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromByteArray(byteArray, metadata);

      Kotlin

      val image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromByteBuffer(buffer, metadata)
      // Or: val image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromByteArray(byteArray, metadata)
    • To create a FirebaseVisionImage object from a Bitmap object:

      Java

      FirebaseVisionImage image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromBitmap(bitmap);

      Kotlin

      val image = FirebaseVisionImage.fromBitmap(bitmap)
      The image represented by the Bitmap object must be upright, with no additional rotation required.

  2. Get an instance of FirebaseVisionBarcodeDetector:

    Java

    FirebaseVisionBarcodeDetector detector = FirebaseVision.getInstance()
            .getVisionBarcodeDetector();
    // Or, to specify the formats to recognize:
    // FirebaseVisionBarcodeDetector detector = FirebaseVision.getInstance()
    //        .getVisionBarcodeDetector(options);

    Kotlin

    val detector = FirebaseVision.getInstance()
            .visionBarcodeDetector
    // Or, to specify the formats to recognize:
    // val detector = FirebaseVision.getInstance()
    //        .getVisionBarcodeDetector(options)
  3. Finally, pass the image to the detectInImage method:

    Java

    Task<List<FirebaseVisionBarcode>> result = detector.detectInImage(image)
            .addOnSuccessListener(new OnSuccessListener<List<FirebaseVisionBarcode>>() {
                @Override
                public void onSuccess(List<FirebaseVisionBarcode> barcodes) {
                    // Task completed successfully
                    // ...
                }
            })
            .addOnFailureListener(new OnFailureListener() {
                @Override
                public void onFailure(@NonNull Exception e) {
                    // Task failed with an exception
                    // ...
                }
                    });

    Kotlin

    val result = detector.detectInImage(image)
            .addOnSuccessListener { barcodes ->
                // Task completed successfully
                // ...
            }
            .addOnFailureListener {
                // Task failed with an exception
                // ...
            }

3. Get information from barcodes

If the barcode recognition operation succeeds, a list of FirebaseVisionBarcode objects will be passed to the success listener. Each FirebaseVisionBarcode object represents a barcode that was detected in the image. For each barcode, you can get its bounding coordinates in the input image, as well as the raw data encoded by the barcode. Also, if the barcode detector was able to determine the type of data encoded by the barcode, you can get an object containing parsed data.

For example:

Java

for (FirebaseVisionBarcode barcode: barcodes) {
    Rect bounds = barcode.getBoundingBox();
    Point[] corners = barcode.getCornerPoints();

    String rawValue = barcode.getRawValue();

    int valueType = barcode.getValueType();
    // See API reference for complete list of supported types
    switch (valueType) {
        case FirebaseVisionBarcode.TYPE_WIFI:
            String ssid = barcode.getWifi().getSsid();
            String password = barcode.getWifi().getPassword();
            int type = barcode.getWifi().getEncryptionType();
            break;
        case FirebaseVisionBarcode.TYPE_URL:
            String title = barcode.getUrl().getTitle();
            String url = barcode.getUrl().getUrl();
            break;
    }
}

Kotlin

for (barcode in barcodes) {
    val bounds = barcode.boundingBox
    val corners = barcode.cornerPoints

    val rawValue = barcode.rawValue

    val valueType = barcode.valueType
    // See API reference for complete list of supported types
    when (valueType) {
        FirebaseVisionBarcode.TYPE_WIFI -> {
            val ssid = barcode.wifi!!.ssid
            val password = barcode.wifi!!.password
            val type = barcode.wifi!!.encryptionType
        }
        FirebaseVisionBarcode.TYPE_URL -> {
            val title = barcode.url!!.title
            val url = barcode.url!!.url
        }
    }
}

Tips to improve real-time performance

If you want to scan barcodes in a real-time application, follow these guidelines to achieve the best framerates:

  • Don't capture input at the camera’s native resolution. On some devices, capturing input at the native resolution produces extremely large (10+ megapixels) images, which results in very poor latency with no benefit to accuracy. Instead, only request the size from the camera that is required for barcode detection: usually no more than 2 megapixels.

    If scanning speed is important, you can further lower the image capture resolution. However, bear in mind the minimum barcode size requirements outlined above.

  • Throttle calls to the detector. If a new video frame becomes available while the detector is running, drop the frame. See the VisionProcessorBase class in the quickstart sample app for an example.
  • If you are using the output of the detector to overlay graphics on the input image, first get the result from ML Kit, then render the image and overlay in a single step. By doing so, you render to the display surface only once for each input frame. See the CameraSourcePreview and GraphicOverlay classes in the quickstart sample app for an example.
  • If you use the Camera2 API, capture images in ImageFormat.YUV_420_888 format.

    If you use the older Camera API, capture images in ImageFormat.NV21 format.

Next steps

See the ML Kit Material Design showcase app and the ML Kit quickstart sample on GitHub for examples of this API in use.