Barcode reader

Barcode scanner - typology and future trends

A barcode scanner is part of the class of barcode scanners used mainly in retail or warehouses and is also known as barcode reader. This is a device used to read the information contained in a barcode. Bar code reader equipment consists of a scanner, a decoder that can be included or external, and a connection cable between the scanner and a computer.

How does a bar code scanner work?

Barcodes would be completely useless without the technology to interpret them. Any barcode scanner must be able to read quickly and correctly the combinations of white and black bars. It must be able to transmit the information to the computer database or to the terminal installed at the cash register. These, in turn, must be able to interpret them appropriately to identify the product.

The stages of the reading and interpretation process can be summarized as follows:

   1. The scanner read head reflects on the barcode light generated by a light or a laser;
   2. The light is reflected back to a photoelectric cell inside the scanner. White areas reflect more light, less black.
   3. As a bar code scanner goes over the bar code, the photoelectric cell generates pulses in binary code (sequences 0 and 1) that are translated by an electrical circuit;
   4. The binary code is then passed to a computer that translates it into product information.

Some code scanners have a single photoelectric cell that reads each vertical line of code in turn. More sophisticated models contain a whole line of photovoltaic cells and bar code is detected in a single motion.

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