Use a phone or tablet to scan the QR codes printed on receipts and tickets.

This page describes how to use a phone or tablet to scan QR codes at the door of an event. It is essential to test this feature in a dry run before using it at an actual event. To that end, you will be able to reset all the scans so that you start the real event with no one listed as admitted, no matter how many times you have practiced admitting them.

No application is installed on the phone or tablet; all functionality is achieved via the native camera app paired with a browser on the device. Nevertheless, see the bottom of this note  if you want to use a dedicated QR code scanning device attached to the USB port of a computer instead of a smartphone or tablet

What you will need to use QR code scanning:

  • an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, or an Android tablet with rear camera. These devices have native support for scanning QR codes, via the camera app.
  • a location with good cell coverage. Wi-fi is better, but not necessary. Scanning will not work in locations with poor cell coverage and no wi-fi.
  • Have cookies enabled on your device.
  • Set the password for the restricted gate login for your account. To do that, click the Gate  user password link in the Administration panel of the dashboard. Type the password in the field and submit the change.

To prepare:

Print 4 receipts for the next upcoming event:

  • Click on the scanScanned tickets for current event button in the Reports panel of the dashboard. That action will take you to the rsvns report for the soonest upcoming event (or if there are no future events, the most recent past event). The middle navigation bar near the top of the report lets you know whether the page is showing or hiding gate scans. Click on the Show scans icon if they aren’t showing.
  • To print a receipt, click on the rcpt button on a reservation line. This action brings up a receipt in a new tab.
  • Click on the Print button at the top of the receipt to bring up your browser’s print dialog, and then print the receipt.
  • Click back to the tab of your browser showing the report the  so you can print more receipts.

To start:

  • Open the camera application on your device.
  • Scan a receipt and click on the link that appears.
  • A browser will come up asking you to log into [your account]/gate.
  • Type in the password and say OK. The device should remember that password going forward, and you will not have to log in again.
  • Touch the Admit these amounts button.
  • On the iPhone and iPad, there is a <-Camera button to touch so that you can go on to the next scan. On Android devices, use the phone’s back gesture to go back to the camera.
  • Repeat with the rest of the receipts.

Further testing:

  • Go back to the rsvns report and scroll to the bottom.
  • Click the Reset all button.
  • This time, do not accept all the tickets on the receipt as you see them, but use the dropdown to specify how many of the party are entering in the current group.

Ticket Printing Policy

You can configure your account in any one of 3 ticket-printing settings:

  1. 1 page printed per ticket in order (the current default)
  2. 1 page printed per event in order
  3. Receipt serves as ticket (1 page printed)

You set the policy via the Ticket printing dropdown in the Management panel of the dashboard.

We think the default setting of one sheet per order is adequate when scanning QR codes. You can admit the entire party with a single scan, and keep track of which performance the party was admitted to. That means the same sheet can be used again the next night. If the parties to a reservation arrive in separate groups, the system will keep track of how many have been admitted, even though each group arrives with the identical QR code. Moreover, you can scan QR codes in emails on smartphones, so that there is no longer a pressing need to print the receipt at all.

Using a dedicated QR code scanning device instead of a smartphone or tablet

No application is installed on the phone or tablet. Instead, all functionality is achieved via the native camera app paired with a browser on the device. Nevertheless, you can scan QR codes using a dedicated device attached to a computer with a USB port. For testing, we used a REALINN USB 2D QR Barcode Scanner, which cost us about $30. It worked almost the same way as the phones and tablets. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Plug the device into the USB port of a computer.
  2. Open a browser window and position the cursor in the address bar.
  3. Use the device to scan a QR code. (The first time you do this, you will have to use the account’s gate password.)
  4. After admitting the desired number of tickets, type to position the cursor in back in the address bar with all contents selected, or simply click in the bar (but make sure the contents are selected or cleared).
  5. Scan the next QR code.

The device will work with PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks with USB ports. It cannot be used by attaching it to a phone or tablet.