Bar Code Hardware - Barcode Scanners and Barcode Readers

bar code scannerWith the volume of useful information on The BarCode News, and our mission to be your "Go-to site for everything Bar Code," we'd like to offer some information on the types of bar code hardware available in the marketplace. Today's focus is on barcode readers, also called barcode scanners.

As you probably know, the purpose of a barcode scanner is to save time and increase accuracy while processing transactions. Barcode readers help you serve customers efficiently and effectively, reduce errors in inventory and pricing, save staff time, and lower costs.

A barcode reader or barcode scanner is a device used to read manufacturer’s bar code labels. When the barcode scanner's laser starts picking up a bar code label (UPC for example), it translates the black and white lines of the bar code into the numbers and letters that make up the stock number of the item. It then transmits that stock number to the computer just as if you had typed the number on the keyboard. Since typing numbers in manually is quite time-consuming, inefficient, and generally has a high error rate, barcode scanners are considered an indispensable and worthwhile tool for many different industry verticals.

Depending on the bar code scanning applications within your business, you'll choose one of the following:

Types of bar code scanners and readers:

  1. Laser bar code scanners
    -For these bar code readers, the laser beam serves as the light source while reading the bar code. The laser measures the reflected light from the bar code scanner.
  2. Camera-based bar code readers
    -Two-dimensional (2D) imaging scanners are the newest type of bar code reader. These specialized bar code readers use a camera and image processing techniques to decode bar codes.
  3. CCD bar code readers
    -CCD (charge-coupled device, a high-speed semiconductor used in image detection) bar code scanners use an array of hundreds of small light sensors to measure the intensity of the light, converting that light energy into electronic signals.

Types of housings for bar code scanners and readers:

  1. Handheld (wired) bar code scanners
  2.  -Often described as a "gun," handheld bar code scanners are common in retail environments as part of the POS system.
  3. Stationary bar code readers
  4. -Commonly found in grocery stores and supermarkets, these readers are table- or wall-mounted and generally see the highest volume of scanning traffic per customer.
  5.  Wireless bar code scanners
    -As indicated by the name, these bar code scanners are not tethered to your point-of-sale, giving employees more room to operate.
  6. Fixed-position scanner
     -Generally used in industrial settings, these bar code readers identify products during the manufacturing process or for logistics.

wireless bar code scanner

Are you searching for a bar code scanning solution for your business? Take a look at "How to Choose a Barcode Reader or Barcode Scanner"

Here are several bar code scanner reviews to get you started,

Top 5 Barcode Scanners Under $500

1D Bar Code Scanners: A User-based Review

Need more information about a specific bar code scanner or bar code reader? Contact us.


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