Barcode Scanner, also known as Barcode Reader, is an input device which is used to capture and retrieve information about the product which is being scanned. This helps in automation of the process thereby increasing the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of the business process.
Barcode Scanners may be hand-held, hands-free, fixed mount, or portable data terminals. Another way of categorization can be into image scanners and laser scanners. But they utilize a connection with a computer through a serial port, a keyboard port and a wedge, which is an infrared device. Some major brands in the field of POS automation are Nexa, Epson, Zebra etc.
A Barcode Scanner uses a beam of light which falls on the barcode printed on the product. When this beam of light is deflected from the product, it is measured on the basis of the fact that the dark bars on the barcode reflect less light in comparison to the light spaces between the dark bars. The scanner, then, converts the light energy into electrical energy. This is further converted by the decoder in the form of data as output. This final output is then displayed on the computer screen.
This barcode scanning involves scanning of a particular barcode and then searching through the database of hundreds and thousands of products to match it with the exact one and display relevant details of that product.
Every business has its unique requirements and hence the features and functionality while choosing the automation tools make a difference in the way they alter the environment. While choosing a scanner, it is very important to understand your type of usage, whether it requires indoor scanning at a particular point or it requires scanning products outdoor or both ways. Further, there are different types of bar code symbols which are into existence. Between the standard 1D and 2D symbols used in barcoding, different scanners have different decoding capabilities. The right one depends upon the requirements of your business.
If the environment is exposed to extreme heat, dust, chemicals, debris or moisture, then it is essential to select a scanner which is highly durable and rugged. In case of mobility is one important characteristic, then a wireless scanner is the best choice with which the staff can navigate across the entire premises towards accomplishing the objective of barcode scanner.