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How Does a Barcode Scanner Work?

Tablet with Bar Code Scanner Most barcode scanners consist of three different parts including the illumination system, the sensor, and the decoder. In general, a barcode scanner “scans” the black and white elements of a barcode by illuminating the code with a red light, which is then converted into matching text. More specifically, the sensor in the barcode scanner detects the reflected light from the illumination system (the red light) and generates an analog signal that is sent to the decoder. The decoder interprets that signal, validates the barcode using the check digit, and coverts it into text.

This converted text is delivered by the scanner to a computer software system holding a database of the maker, cost, and quantity of all products sold. 

Because barcode scanners are variable and include diverse capabilities, some are better suited for certain industries due to reading distance and to work volume capacity.

Outlined below are a few of the available barcode scanners with a little insight into how each works. 

  • Pen-type Reader: consists of a light source and a photodiode on the tip of the pen.
  • Laser Scanner: works similarly to a Pen-type Reader but uses a laser beam.
  • Camera-based Reader: installed with camera and image processing techniques in the reading of barcodes.
  • CCD Reader: has several light sensors to scan barcodes.
  • Omni-Directional Barcode Scanner: highly advanced and very efficient in decoding badly printed, crumpled, and even torn barcodes on products.

Does your company need tablets with barcode scanning capabilities?

(Blog post via WaspBarcode)

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