What Are Ring Scanner Wearable Computers?

A warehouse employee scanning a barcode using a ring scanner wearable computer.

What Does a Ring Scanner Do?

Wearable ring scanning computers can provide the hands-free scanning your workforce needs to maximize productivity. But today’s workers have high expectations for wearable devices – a modern design, a minimal footprint, so intuitive that virtually no training is required, plus the point-and-shoot scanning simplicity on every barcode. No matter the condition of the barcode, you can capture any 1D or 2D barcode at lightning speed with point-and-shoot simplicity. This is due to Intelligent software providing features that reduce decode time, enabling fast capture of any barcode. Ring scanners bring you simplicity with Bluetooth capabilities where there’s no cable to the host device for workers to manage – hands-free scanning improves comfort, usability and productivity. In addition, these wearable computers can read any sized barcode due to the wide field of view capabilities to handle any size barcode and can decode multiple barcodes at once.

How do Ring Scanners Help Increase Productivity?

Boost the productivity of your workforce with a simple solution: ring scanners. Whether your employees are involved in warehouse operations, retail tasks or package handling in distribution centers, their efficiency takes a hit whenever they have to put down an item to perform tasks. This can include checking paperwork, holding different boxes or objects, scanning barcodes using handheld devices and other tasks that require more than two hands at a time. However, by equipping workers with ring scanners that can easily be worn on their fingers, they can effortlessly keep their focus on the items they're handling. Workers are free to keep their hands and eyes on those items without having to let go of their gear. This can provide improvements in worker productivity as they can perform their tasks seamlessly and without interruptions, leading to enhanced overall performance.

How do Ring Scanners Work?

Ring scanners are innovative devices designed to streamline data capture and improve efficiency in various industries. These compact and lightweight scanners are worn on the fingers, allowing users to have hands-free operation while performing tasks.

Ring scanners typically have:

  1. Wearable Design: Zebra ring scanners are ergonomically designed to be worn comfortably on the fingers, typically the index or middle finger. They are secured with adjustable straps, ensuring a secure fit.

  2. Scanning Technology: These scanners utilize advanced imaging or laser scanning technology to capture data. Imaging technology uses a camera to capture images of barcodes, while laser scanning technology uses a laser beam to read barcode information.

  3. Barcode Recognition: When a user encounters a barcode, they simply point their finger with the ring scanner towards the barcode. The integrated scanner quickly captures the barcode information using imaging or laser technology.

  4. Data Transmission: Once the barcode is scanned, the captured data is wirelessly transmitted to a paired device, such as a wearable mobile computer or a smartphone, via a Bluetooth connection. The scanned data can be sent in real-time to connected devices or stored for later synchronization.

  5. Integration with Applications: The scanned data can be processed by various applications or software installed on the connected device. This enables seamless integration with existing systems, such as inventory management, order processing, or asset tracking software, allowing for quick and accurate data capture and processing.

  6. Feedback and Confirmation: Many ring scanners often provide visual, audible or haptic feedback to indicate successful scans. This feedback ensures that users receive immediate confirmation that the scanned data was captured correctly.

Revolutionizing Order Fulfillment and Inventory Management with Ring Scanners

With ring scanners, businesses can be better equipped to streamline operations and empower their workforce with hands-free, efficient, and real-time scanning capabilities for improved productivity and accuracy. Here are several ways that ring scanners can help you optimize:

  1. Improved Order Fulfillment Efficiency: Ring scanners are hands-free wearable computers designed to optimize order picking and fulfillment. These devices help provide workers with real-time order information, product details and picking instructions right at their fingertips. With a ring scanner, workers can quickly scan barcodes or use RFID technology to identify items in the warehouse or retail store, streamlining the fulfillment process and reducing errors.

  2. Enhanced Inventory Management: A ring scanner helps contribute to a more seamless and accurate tracking of inventory through barcode scanning and RFID technology. With precise inventory data at their disposal, workers can easily check stock levels, update inventory records in real-time and avoid stockouts or overselling. This enables businesses to provide customers with accurate product availability information, leading to improved customer satisfaction and trust.

  3. Hands-Free Operation: One of the significant advantages of utilizing ring scanners is leveraging their hands-free design. Workers can wear the ring scanner on their fingers, leaving both hands free to handle inventory and fulfill orders efficiently. This feature boosts productivity, minimizes errors and allows workers to move freely without being restricted by handheld devices.

  4. Data-Driven Insights for Optimization: Some ring scanners are equipped with advanced data capture capabilities, providing businesses with valuable insights into their operations. The device can collect data on worker performance, order processing times and movement patterns. Retailers can use this data to identify areas for improvement, optimize workflows and enhance overall order fulfillment efficiency.

  5. Easy-to-use: Many ring scanners are user-friendly and intuitive, making them ideal for training new employees. These devices are easy-to-use and new workers can quickly learn order-picking processes. The device's user-friendliness may help accelerate the onboarding process and reduces the learning curve, ensuring that new employees contribute to efficient order fulfillment from the start.

By leveraging ring scanners, businesses can address the challenges posed by the growing e-commerce market and customers' high expectations. These wearables empower workers, optimize inventory management and provide real-time insights to streamline order fulfillment. Businesses can use these ring scanners to enhance their operational efficiency, stay competitive and have more time to focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences.

What Are the Different Types of Zebra Ring Scanners?


The RS5000 is designed for challenging warehouse and manufacturing environments. Designed for subzero environments, it can be used in your warehouse aisles and in the freezer. It can withstand a 4 ft./1.2 m drop across the entire operating temperature range – a must for freezer use. Even after 1,000 consecutive bumps, the RS5000 delivers reliable operation. In addition, workers can capture barcodes from near contact to over 25 in./63.5 cm range. When it comes to comfort, this lightweight, balanced little scanner is worn on a single finger, leaving both hands free to handle materials. For ease of use and comfort, the device allows for ambidextrous operation with the convenient swivel feature, your workers can easily switch between right and left-handed operations on the fly.


The RS5100 is a comfortable, featherlight-yet-rugged industrial design that is at home anywhere in your facility. The small, light, low profile is purposely understated at just over two ounces and two cubic inches – and the low profile prevents obstruction when reaching into tight locations. Also, the RS5100 offers a best-in-class rugged design, with sealing, a drop specification and a tumble specification, ensuring reliable operation. Users can adjust the scanner position on the hand to achieve the perfect balance and optimal scan angle for ultimate comfort and user productivity. As you are working with the device, you can receive instant user feedback from the multiple LEDs on the back of the RS5100 that blink to indicate whether a scan was successful. You can also choose between visual LEDs and/or audible beepers to provide verification as well.


With the RS4000 1D ring scanner, your workers will be able to scan materials while being able to keep their hands and eyes on the items they are handling. And a split-second press of the RS4000 trigger verifies task accuracy and provides the real-time inventory visibility you need to eliminate out-of-stocks. The patented Adaptive Scanning technology allows workers to capture barcodes from near contact to 15 ft./4.5 m. As your workers are moving through your operation, they can either press the trigger button once to scan a single barcode or keep the trigger depressed to continuously scan barcodes. The easy-to-see scan line ensures easy aiming for first-time capture of barcodes in virtually any lighting condition. The RS4000 also comes with an oversized LED light to easily see when a scan is successful.


The WS50 is the world’s smallest Android enterprise-class wearable mobile computer. It’s rugged, modular and at home everywhere – from manufacturing and warehousing to retail and hospitality. And with no host device required, it’s the first of its kind, offering powerful data capture with single-device simplicity. With the all-in-one WS50, workers only need to wear one device to capture and access data instead of a host computer and ring scanner, providing a truly converged wearable solution. And push-to-talk (PTT) support eliminates the need to separate voice devices. In addition, the WS50 comes with a high-resolution 13 MP camera to support occasional barcode scanning and can capture detailed photos to document proof of condition and more. Data capture is easily done through superior motion tolerance on the trigger to capture barcodes even if the scanner and barcode are in motion.

Learn More About Zebra's Wearable Solutions