How do barcode scanners work

How do barcode scanners work

When barcode readers were first introduced back in the 1970s, they were reserved for large businesses that could afford to invest in technology. Today, these devices are widely available and are used in a range of different industries, particularly in retail. Some of the most common versions include mobile pen-type devices, laser scanners and camera-based readers.Thanks to the advanced technology used in products like Symectech barcode scanners, modern business processes have become much easier and quicker.

We’re used to seeing them in everyday situations – from supermarkets, to clothes shops, to ticketed events – but exactly how do electronic scanning devices work?

Barcode systems

A typical barcode system includes a computer software system, a barcode and a scanner. Simply put, the scanner reads information from the unique barcode and feeds it back to the central database where the product can be identified. The database stores information about the quantity of products sold, the manufacturer, the price and stock levels.

How they work

A standard scanner consists of three main parts: a light source, a light sensor and a decoder. The electronic reader projects a red LED or laser light onto the barcode and the pattern of the reflected light is then read by a sensor consisting of photoelectric cells. Once the light has been detected by the sensor, it then produces an analog signal. The decoder then analyses the data provided by the sensor, converts the analog signal into text and sends the information to a computer software system.

Of course, this is just one way in which a barcode reader works. Bear in mind that there are many different versions with multiple capabilities. For example, some models have been specially designed for businesses that require high work volume or long distance scanning.

What are they used for?

Barcode scanners help businesses to track a host of information, which can in turn increase productivity and ensure that processes run more efficiently.

With a barcode reader, companies can keep a digital record of prices, products and inventory levels. Using these devices means that the information can be recorded accurately and at a high speed, saving both time and money. As well as giving you a centralised view of your stock, they can be used to pinpoint items that are selling well, help you to identify stolen items and warn you when certain products are running low and need to be re-ordered. They can also be used to alter prices as and when required, eliminating the need to change individual price tags.

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