Barcode scanners like the name suggests is a device that is used to read barcodes. A barcode is a code that consists of a series of bars and spaces. Each of these bars and spaces reflect light uniquely. The space reflects lights while the dark bars absorb the light. When the barcode reader starts the scan it uses the light reflected and the light absorbed to read the code. It then converts this data into 0s and 1s. This conversion or digitalization helps the scanner decode the barcode. The result is then sent to the scanner.
Bar code scanners are required to read bar codes. There are different types of bar code scanners available. The main categorization of barcode scanners are contact barcode scanners and non contact barcode scanners. A contact barcode scanner is a handheld device. This type of scanner must be held close to or touched to the barcode to read it.
A non contact barcode scanner does not need proximity to work. These scanners are equipped with a beam – moving or stationary that read the barcode. Non contact barcode scanners can be handheld or mounted.
Pen barcode scanners: This type of scanner looks like a pen or a wand. The tip has a photodiode and LED light that illuminates and reads the barcode. This is an inexpensive barcode scanner but it requires some practice to use accurately.
Laser barcode scanners: This type of barcode scanner is more effective than a pen barcode scanner. It uses a laser beam to read the barcode. Laser barcode scanners are available in handheld and mounted varieties.
Charged Coupled Device Barcode scanner (CCD): This type of barcode scanner is also known as an LED scanner. It uses hundreds of tiny LED lights and a sensor to read barcodes. This device is extremely accurate but also very expensive.
A barcode scanner is a complex device that is connected to a computer that connects to an internal decoder and a code through compatible ports. Information is communicated through these two devices by converting optical impulses to electrical impulses using the light source, lenses and photo conductor within the barcode scanner.
The barcode image is scanned with the beam and the photo conductor copies or reads the barcode image. This image is then decoded by the inbuilt decoder circuit. The decoded code is sent via the scanner’s output port to the computer enabling users to interpret the data.
Barcode scanners offer many benefits to users. Each type of barcode scanner will offer certain benefits. A contact barcode scanner in particular offers the following benefits: