A barcode scanner, also called a barcode reader, is an electrical machine/gadget, which scans the data held in the barcodes and decrypts it. The barcode scanner is generally comprised of these components:
This is responsible for scanning the barcode, and thus capturing the data.
This is an essential component, which lights up the barcode. This makes it easier for the lens to pick up the information in the barcode
This part of the barcode scanner converts the optic to electric data.
The decoder examines and converts the data then sends it to the output port.
Barcode Scan Mechanisms
There are three ways in which the barcode scanners read a barcode, and these are:
Barcode scanners work through laser scanning the 1D or linear barcodes.
This captures an image by scanning the linear barcodes.
This captures an image by reading the 2D or linear barcodes.
Types of Barcode Scanners
Currently, there are five different types of barcode readers that are available in the market, and these include:
The simplest type of barcode reader is the Pen Wand. It is famous due to its lower cost and durability. As Pen Wand barcode has to remain in direct contact with the bar code, it, therefore, needs to be held at a certain angle and has to be moved over the bar code at a certain speed.
Slot Type Bar Code Scanner
A slot scanner is the type of scanner that remains stationary, and the item with the bar code on it is pulled by hand through the slot. These are used to scan bar codes on identification cards. The slot scanner is motionless. The user has to swaps the object with hand over the slot. Normally use it to read barcodes on Identification Cards.
Charge-coupled Device scanner or CCD
The reading range of a CCD type scanner is better vs. a Pen Wand. A CCD scanner has a “gun” type interface and needs to be near the Bar Code not more than an inch. It takes several readings, every time the bar code is scanned, to help reduce the errors. However for a CCD scanner to read a bar code, it should not be wider than its input, and this is one disadvantage associated with CCD type scanners.
Wireless Barcode Scanners
A wireless barcode scanner is ideal for areas where movement is required, as the warehouse. In such areas the conditions are extreme, so cables and wires can cause problems. These wireless scanners are great for scanning large and heavy items, which cannot be moved from their place easily. A wireless USB barcode scanner is a reliable and efficient form of wireless barcode scanner.
It has a lightweight, user-friendly and functional design. The wireless USB barcode scanner needs to be plugged into the USB port, in order to work. The wireless USB barcode scanner can be operated by using a barcode scanner with a square.
The wireless USB barcode scanners are sponsored on iPad by the square register, square stand or some Android devices. All kinds of businesses are popular for using a barcode scanner with a square. These square barcode scanners are guaranteed to work with your square system. In case of Android devices, they should be android 5.0, and also support host mode or USB.
Furthermore, these square barcode scanners require a USB adaptor to connect it to the device. You can set up the square barcode scanners by first opening the square app on your gadget and then plugging the scanner into your android device. In this way, if it is connected the square app will send you a notification, and you will be using a barcode scanner with a square.
An image scanner as the name implies uses a small video camera to capture the image of the bar code and then a sophisticated digital image processing technique is used to decode the bar code. An image scanner can read a bar code on an item from a distance of 3 to 9 inches and generally it costs less than a laser scanner.
A laser scanner, whether hand-pulled or stationary, easily scans the barcodes up to a distance of 24 inches. There is a system in a laser scanner whereby a set of mirrors and lenses, allow the scanner to read the bar code, irrespective of its orientation. Almost 500 scans per second are performed to reduce the error. While a long-range laser scanner can read a bar code from a distance of 30 feet.
Omni-Directional Desktop Barcode Scanner
Omni-Directional Desktop Barcode Scanners are similar to laser scanners. However, they have extra mirrors and reflective tools, which turns one laser to several lines at various angles. As defined by Roger Palmer, Omnidirectional scanning is when a “series of straight or curved scanning lines of varying directions in the form of a starburst, a lissajous pattern, or other multi-angle arrangement are projected at the symbol and one or more of them will be able to cross all of the symbol’s bars and spaces, no matter what the orientation.”
By making several lines at various angles, the omnidirectional desktop barcode scanners are better able to scan the barcodes at different positions. Thus making it easier for omnidirectional scanners to read barcodes that are faded, torn or wrinkled. One of the benefits of these scanners is that the scan rate is more rapid.
Moreover, there mechanism of scanning saves time as they don’t require a perfect aim to scan a barcode. These scanners have a wide-ranging application from retail shops to industrial conveyor scanning.