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How do Barcode Scanners Work?

How do Barcode Scanners Work?

Apr 12,2022
A barcode is a code that contains data or information about a specific product. Use bars of different lengths and widths to encode different letters and numbers. These barcodes are important for accurate inventory management. For example, barcodes seen on clothing labels in retail stores will have some black and white spaces with product numbers that are detected and scanned by a computer.

It matches the data in the computer that represents this barcode, which will help with the billing process. Hand-held scanners in the hands of cashiers in nearly any organized retail establishment are a familiar sight to every customer. In the store, employees scan a barcode attached to a product, which will soon be added to a customer's order. Barcodes can be found in almost every store these days. The following describes the types of barcode scanners and how they work.

1. Types of barcode scanners

Depending on the amount of data you wish to store in the barcode, they can be divided into 2 categories:

1)One-dimensional code

Consisting of linear black and white gaps of varying widths, these codes are approximately 12 characters long. They can only carry alphanumeric data. If you want to include more information, you have to increase the length of the barcode. 90% of applications use 1D code.

2)Two-dimensional code

QR codes use hexagons, squares, or other shapes to store data. As the name suggests, it is arranged in a horizontal and vertical pattern, which helps with two-dimensional readability. Although much smaller in size than a 1D code, it can hold up to 100 characters, so it can store more information.

2. How does the barcode scanner work?

A barcode scanner is an input device that uses a beam of light to scan and digitally convert printed barcodes. Then it decodes the data and sends the data to the computer. It consists of a lens, a light source, and a light sensor that converts light pulses into electrical signals. 

Barcode scanners contain a decoder that analyzes the image data provided by the sensor and sends it to the output port. After scanning the image, it links to the host to deliver the captured information.

The decoder recognizes the barcode symbols, translates the barcode and space content, and transmits the data to the computer in a format that we can read. The decoder can also put data into an Accel or Excel database. 

Special application software can put this data into inventory records, used to monitor work in progress, or to receive and send documents. It reduces the need for manual data collection, thereby helping to reduce the chance of human error. It also speeds up tasks such as managing assets, monitoring point-of-sale transactions, and tracking inventory.

In a warehouse, manually screening inventory helps keep track of inventory. But this is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Sometimes employees have to climb high to scan products, and falls can be fatal. To solve this problem, some logistics companies have deployed drones equipped with barcode scanners and obstacle avoidance sensors that can fly through every aisle of a warehouse. These can scan hundreds of barcodes in minutes!

Users of some social media apps can scan barcode labels on food and wine with their phones to get more nutritional information, such as the number of calories a serving can provide. You can also get review data. Barcode scanning in some mobile apps helps businesses interact with customers. Compared to the past, modern barcode scanners can read a wide variety of barcodes in both 1D and 2D formats. It can then automatically interpret the symbols it reads. Typically, the decoder is located on the handle of the scanner. If not, place a keyboard wedge between the computer and the scanner.

3. What are the types of barcode readers?

Let us understand the types of barcode readers.

Handheld - They are the most popular type and come in wired or cordless models.

Presentation - This is a hands-free scanner that allows the user to scan multiple items. It is also known as a multi-plane or counter scanner.

In-counter - It's similar to the demo scanner, only it's inside the counter instead of on top.

Mobile computers - They combine the functionality of a barcode scanner and a PC.

Fixed-mount - It is a hands-free scanner that uses a sensor to read barcodes. These sensors are triggered when items pass in front of them.

Wearable - These are scanners that are usually worn on the arm, finger, or hand.

The above describes the working principle and types of barcode readers. If you are interested in purchasing a barcode reader, please contact us.

YANZEO can provide you with custom barcode solutions. We have always been guided by intelligent technology for many years, and have been committed to the research and exploration of barcode and RFID technology. With hundreds of independent technology patents, it is a well-known barcode and RFID equipment manufacturer. Our products are also widely used in government agencies, public security, utilities and logistics supermarkets, property security, etc.
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