Almost every single business today uses barcodes for a myriad of different reasons. Whether you are keeping track of computers and other important equipment within the company, own a warehouse that has to keep a constantly current tally of millions of items, or you own a store and need to keep a watchful eye on your prices and your stock, barcode scanners are used to help retrieve and tabulate this data. There are several different types of barcode scanners, so it's important to know which ones will work best for you. The main forms of scanners are LED, laser, Imager, and 2D. Each one scans the barcode in a different way. Laser barcode scanners are a very popular and effective choice. These scanners emit a thin red laser from the scanner which quickly and accurately reads the barcode within a timeframe of about one second. They are also able to read barcodes at a much longer distance than their older, LED counterparts. LED scanners are still very commonplace in many stores. The 2D scanners read the barcode as an image, and then transmit the entire code as an image file into a database. This goes for the Imager scanner as well. Each of these scanners is a little bit tougher because they have no moving parts, so they can withstand more use and harsher conditions.
Barcode scanners can come in several different forms. It will depend on the nature of your business as to what type will suit you best. Handheld scanners are very commonly used in checkout lines. These barcode scanners have a handle, and usually have a trigger button which when pressed will signal the LED or laser to take the reading of the item. Pen scanners are much smaller and resemble a ballpoint pen. These must be pointed and then swiped physically across the barcode to get an accurate reading. While pen scanners work well, they are not always as time efficient. Another type of barcode scanner and perhaps one of the most common is the stationary scanner. These scanners are usually mounted inside of a countertop, and can most commonly be seen in the grocery store checkout line. Fixed position scanners are usually used for larger environments such as manufacturing warehouses in order to keep track of inventory, or to track items' destinations when shipping them out to customers or distributors.
A regular computer cannot read barcodes. A special scanner is needed in order to scan the entire code and then translate the code's formula so that it becomes a readable and traceable piece of data. Essentially, a barcode scanner captures the data from the barcode and transmits the data into a computer system, which then can translate the information, and in most cases store it into a database. Most scanners are easily compatible with most computers and operating systems. Software installation is needed, but it is simple and easy to use. Before choosing a scanner, consider several factors such as the frequency of the scans, the distance from which scanning will be performed, how it will be connected, and whether or not the scanning process needs to be conducted on a real time basis. With so many options available today, choosing a barcode scanner is an easy process that will ensure you get the most accurate readings for your barcode interface.