What is a Barcode Reader?
An optical scanning device (light pen, laser gun, fixed scanner, etc.) used to read a barcode field. Barcode readers can decode data contained in a barcode and send the data to a computer or mobile device. The vast majority of barcode readers include decoder circuitry that have the ability to analyze barcode data provided by a sensor and sending the barcode’s content to the scanner’s output port.
Barcode readers come in a variety of technological devices:
This is the simplest type of barcode reader and the least expensive. It is durable and has no moving parts. It must remain in direct contact with the barcode and also needs to be held at a certain angle in order to pick up the data. A certain speed at which it moves over the barcode is also required.
This is a stationary barcode scanner and the item being scanned is pulled by hand through the slot on the barcode reader device. This type of barcode reader is usually used for scanning the barcodes on identification cards and cards that are swiped.
This type of barcode reader is typically used in retail sales. It has a better range than the pen wand and has a gun type interface. It has to be held close to the barcode in order to read it. Several readings are usually taken to reduce errors. The disadvantage to using this type of barcode reader is that it can only read barcodes that are the width of it’s face size.
This type of barcode reader can also be called a camera reader. It features a small camera that is used to capture an image of the barcode. It can read barcodes from further away and has digital imaging processors that read the bar codes. It can be used to read barcodes from as far away as 9 inches.
This type of barcode reader can be handheld or stationary. It doesn’t have to be close to the barcodes to read them. This model uses mirrors and lenses to read the barcode and can be used up to 24 inches away and there are long range models that can read barcodes up to 30 feet away. It can also read barcodes no matter what their orientation is. Laser scanners can perform up to 500 scans per second.