What is a Barcode Reader and its Types


Updated: June 6, 2024

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What is a Barcode Reader?

A barcode reader, also called a barcode scanner, is a device that helps read the information encoded in the barcode. Barcodes are used in different industries for tracking, inventory management, and product identification. Barcode readers are important for decoding barcodes correctly, streamlining business operations, improving accuracy, and enhancing efficiency quickly.

Types of Barcode Reader

A barcode reader is a device that helps you get information from a barcode easily and quickly. Here, we will discuss some common types of barcode readers, like handheld scanners, stationary barcode scanners, and more.

barcode reader

Handheld Barcode Scanners

Handheld barcode scanners are the common type of barcode reader. These are used in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, inventory management, and point-of-sale applications. These scanners are portable, lightweight, and easy to use. Users can easily scan barcodes by pointing the device at the code and pressing a button.

Stationary Barcode Scanners

Stationary barcode scanners are one type of barcode reader. They are fixed to a surface that can be moved around, such as a countertop. These scanners are commonly used in automated systems for high-speed product scanning in manufacturing, logistics, warehouses, checkout, and distribution environments.

barcode scanners

Pen-Type Barcode Readers

Pen-type barcode readers, also known as barcode wands, are the simplest and most traditional handheld barcode scanner devices. They require the user to swipe the wand across the barcode to scan it manually. These scanners are used in environments where space is limited or for scanning barcodes on curved surfaces,  like bottles or cans, making it easier to get the information.

Laser Barcode Scanners

Laser barcode scanners are among the most common types of barcode scanners. They use a laser beam to read barcodes by scanning the light across the barcode and detecting the reflected light. These scanners are versatile and can read barcodes from away, making them suitable for scanning barcodes on hard-to-reach or large items.

CCD Barcode Scanners

Charged-coupled devices (CCD) are barcode scanners that use light sensors to capture an image of the barcode and decode the information. These scanners are durable, reliable, and cost-efficient and can read poorly printed barcodes, making them ideal for industrial and healthcare settings.

barcode scanners online

Conclusion about Barcode Reader

Barcode readers come in different types, including handheld, stationary, pen-type, laser, and CCD. Each presents unique features and applications. These barcode readers are important in decoding barcodes quickly and accurately, improving business processes, enhancing productivity, and improving inventory management. The correct type of barcode reader selection depends on the application’s specific requirements, such as scanning distance, scanning speed, and barcode compatibility.

FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a barcode reader number?

A barcode reader number refers to the unique identification number encoded in a barcode that can be scanned and read using a barcode reader.

An optical mark reader: what is it?

An optical mark reader (OMR) can detect marks on paper made by a pen or pencil, such as a checkbox, and translate the mark into digital data.

What is barcode scanning?

Barcode scanning involves using a barcode reader to scan and read the data encoded in a barcode. It is typically used for tracking inventory, product identification, and more.

How does a barcode reader work?

A barcode reader works by emitting a light source onto a barcode, capturing the reflected light to read the black-and-white pattern of bars, and decoding the pattern into data to be displayed or stored.

Who invented the barcode reader?

In the 1950s, Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver.

What is a barcode reader in computing?

In computing, a barcode reader is a device or software application that can read and decode the information stored in a barcode to input data into a computer system.

What is the full form of BCR in computing?

The full form of BCR in computing is Barcode Reader.

What is barcode reader equipment?

Barcode reader equipment includes physical devices, such as handheld scanners, stationary scanners, or smartphone apps, that scan and read barcodes to capture data.

What is an OMR barcode?

An OMR barcode includes optical mark recognition components, allowing a device to read the barcode data and identify marks made on the same document.

What is a handheld barcode scanner?

It is a portable device that can be held by hand and used to scan and read barcodes on products, packages, or documents for quick data retrieval.

How do you decode a barcode?

A barcode is decoded using a barcode scanner that reads the pattern of bars and spaces in the barcode, matches it to a database, and then displays or processes the encoded information.

What is a barcode scanner reader?

It is a device or software application that connects a barcode scanner and can read and interpret the data encoded in the scanned barcode.


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