The barcode scanner device or barcode reader is a hardware tool that consists of a light source, engine (ENGINE), interface board that uses an internal software to read (scan) and process barcode images and convert them into numeric or alphanumeric information. Comprehension is for the computer, it is composed. Basically, it can be said that the function of the barcode reader is very similar to the keyboard in terms of transferring information. Barcode readers have different types and each one uses a special method to read barcodes.
Barcode usage history
For the first time, barcodes were used to identify products in American chain stores in the early 80s. The reason for the need for such a system was the high price fluctuations in the early 70s, which caused the stores to suffer a lot of trouble and costs to announce new prices to their workforce and customers. For this reason, several large companies decided to find a suitable solution for this problem.
After a few months, two students named Bernard and Norman devised an icon to provide information about the product during checkout and checkout by creating black lines on a white background. In addition, this symbol could be used as an international standard for identifying goods. In 1973, George Lohrer invented the first linear barcode for commercial use, and the following year in 1974, the first barcode reader was tested in a supermarket in Ohio on a package of American Wrigley gum, and the barcode scanner industry was born. This pack of chewing gum is still kept at the National Museum of American History in Washington.
At first, barcode readers were used to speed things up; But today, it is considered essential for most businesses and is used in every industry. Barcode scanning systems are used in countless industries, including electronic payments, medical, retail, manufacturing, entertainment, legal, and many other companies you might never expect.
With the use of barcode and barcode reader technology by most industries and services, this industry grew rapidly and the quality, mechanism and speed of the devices grew according to the needs of customers. For example, new forms of barcodes were developed to fit a large amount of data into a smaller code. The barcodes that are used today to record and transfer information are:
1- One-dimensional or linear barcodes:
This type of barcode is the most common type of barcode that is usually found on most goods. A one-dimensional barcode is a set of lines that are placed together with different diameters and distances. Linear barcodes hold a limited number of characters and grow longer as more data is added. These types of barcodes can only store numbers.
2- Two-dimensional or matrix barcodes:
These types of barcodes are in the form of black and white squares that have created a chess-like space. 2D barcodes, also known as QR codes, can contain up to 2000 characters or more. These barcodes store information vertically and horizontally, so they contain more information than one-dimensional barcodes. This feature helps to identify fake products. In addition to storing numbers, 2D barcodes also have the ability to store letters.
Types of barcode readers
Types of barcode readers in terms of technology:
Barcode readers are divided into three categories in terms of reading technology:
1- Laser barcode reader:
This type of barcode reader is one of the most famous types of scanners that consist of a red laser diode to read black and white spaces in barcodes. In this device, the produced laser light is shined on the desired barcode, then its reflection is processed in the device and the specifications and price of the product are recorded in the store register.
Currently, these barcode readers are obsolete and are not produced. But if you already have this device or plan to get it used, you should keep in mind that if the barcodes to be read are larger than usual, the laser range of the barcode reader should not be smaller than the length of the barcodes.
2- Linear imager barcode reader:
This type of barcode scanner is only able to read normal barcodes and the way it works is that it takes a picture of the desired barcode and extracts the desired code after analyzing it. It should be noted that the imaging barcode reader has a higher ability to read faint barcodes than the laser barcode reader. Therefore, the choice between these two types of store barcode readers is made according to the user’s needs, and advanced barcode readers are used to read more complex barcodes.
3- بارکدخوان تصویر ساز دوبعدی:
This type of barcode scanner also takes a picture of the desired barcode and then analyzes the images and can also read two-dimensional barcodes. The way and direction of placing the barcode in this barcode reader is not important, but in the laser and linear barcode scanner, the barcode must be placed horizontally. This type of barcode reader is used to quickly read barcodes that are in different conditions and do not have a specific direction.
1- Manual barcode reader:
This device is the most popular and widely used type of store barcode reader, which is read by placing it on the desired barcode and pressing the button embedded in the handle. Some of these devices have a support base and there is no need to hold the device to read the barcode. This device is also available in wireless models that can be used in environments that require more freedom of action. According to their needs, users can use types with a base, without a base, wireless or with a wire.
Wireless barcode reader:
If in some places the barcode reader needs to be periodically moved and used at different distances, or if the goods whose barcodes are to be read are bulky and heavy, the wireless barcode reader will greatly help to increase the speed and make things easier. This type of barcode reader is divided into two types, WiFi and Bluetooth, and depending on the connection technology and its model, it can have a range of 10 to 100 meters. Usually, industrial models of wireless barcode readers are designed with more resistance and impact.
Bluetooth barcode readers are divided into two categories with dongle and without dongle. The dongle-free barcode reader connects to any device, including mobile phones and tablets, without the need for hardware connection and through Bluetooth.
2- Desktop or stationary barcode reader:
This type of barcode reader is fixed on a table or wall and allows the user to read the barcode without hands. To read the barcode of products by this type of barcode reader, there is no need to press a key or place the barcode of the product accurately on the barcode scanner. Because this type of barcode reader is more versatile than other devices and it automatically reads the barcode. These types of barcode readers usually have the ability to read barcodes from mobile phone screens due to the type of use.
3- Multifaceted barcode reader:
It is a type of fixed barcode reader that has a very high reading speed due to the possibility of checking a barcode from different angles. Therefore, it is used in environments that need to read barcodes quickly and continuously, such as hypermarkets. To read the barcode with this type of store barcode reader, there is no need to press a key or place the product barcode precisely on the barcode scanner because multi-faceted barcode readers perform scanning operations using curved and straight lines and from all angles. Multifaceted barcode readers are divided into two types: desktop and in-desk. The multi-mode barcode reader inside the table has a much higher price than the desktop type due to its much higher scanning power and speed. These barcode scanners may be incorrectly referred to as 3D barcode scanners.
4- Data collector:
This type of barcode reader is actually a handheld computer with a barcode reader. Data collectors have an operating system and often use Windows or Android operating systems. In these devices, there is no need to connect to a computer. Because the data collector processes the scanned information and transmits it to the central server through the Internet. Data collectors are mostly used for hot sales and warehousing because it increases the speed of warehousing operations significantly. This device often has a very high resistance to environmental factors and impact due to the type of operation and mobility.
Finally, to choose a standard and appropriate store barcode reader, you should pay attention to what kind of business you have and in what environment and conditions you intend to use it. Considering the type of your work activity is one of the most important points that you should consider before buying a barcode reader. To know what other points you should pay attention to when buying a barcode reader, refer to the guide article for buying a barcode reader.