Barcode scanners are used everywhere—in retail stores, in airports, in entertainment events, and also in hospitals. But do you know how they work?
A barcode scanner is a device that is used to capture and read information contained in a barcode. The device comprises a scanner, a decoder (either built-in or external), and a cable that connects the scanner to a computer.
The barcode that is read by the scanner is a small image of bars and spaces that represent numbers and other symbols. This type of semantic code consists of five parts: a quiet zone, a start character, data characters that include an optional check character, and another quiet zone.
A typical barcode scanner directs a beam of light across the bar codes. The scanner then measures the amount of light reflected by each bar on the code – both light and dark bars. Though the bar-patterned code is commonly used, there may be variations in the pattern too: squares, hexagons, dots, and other geometric shapes with two-dimensional matrix codes or symbologies may also be used. The barcode scanner works on this principle: light energy is converted to electrical energy. The decoder coverts the data and transfers the data, which is in a form that only human beings can read, into the computer.
There are five basic types of scanners that are used these days: pen wand scanners, slot scanners, Charge-Couple Device, laser scanners, and image scanners. These are used in various sectors to facilitate easy identification and comprehension of information. There are no standard barcodes but several types are used for different purposes all over the world. The Uniform Product Code (UPC), regulated by the Uniform Code Council – an industry organization – that has provided a standard barcode. This code is mostly used in the retail stores today.
Today, a single barcode scanner is used to identify different barcodes. However, the type of barcode reader that you might require depends on the type of sector you are in: retail, medical, or the airlines. You can buy a barcode scanner easily from an online store like TechnoSource.com.au where you can analyze all type of scanners that are available in the market and can select a suitable one at an attractive price. Through these online stores, you can also buy accessories that will add to the performance of the barcode scanner. So, grab your barcode scanner and decode the information valuable to you!