Barcode scanners are a fantastic way to speed up data management and eliminate data entry errors at virtually any business. They translate encoded data into their alphanumeric equivalent, sending them on to your computer or POS system. There are a variety of scanning methods and build designs for barcode scanners, each meeting specific needs.
CCD - CCD scanners are some of the more affordable on the market. They tend to have shorter scan ranges and only scan 1D barcodes, so they tend to be good for a limited number of applications, such as libraries or very small retailers.
Linear Imagers - These build on the capabilities of CCD imagers, providing faster scanning and greater accuracy at longer ranges. A linear imager is also capable of reading barcodes on LCD screens, giving you options for mobile couponing or ticketing applications.
Laser Scanners - With laser scanning, the barcode scanner uses a spinning mirror or prism to spread a laser point into a line. The scanner measures the amount of light reflected back to decode the barcode data. With additional mirrors, the beam can display in multiple angles, giving you omni directional scanning like you see in grocery store scanners.
2D Imagers - Using the same technology as a digital camera, a 2D imager takes a photo of the barcode and then translates it to alphanumeric data. 2D imagers have added optional functionality, including Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or image capture.
Handheld Scanner- Handheld scanners have the traditional look and feel of a barcode scanner, often looking kind of like a phaser or prop from a sci fi movie. They feature designs and ergonomics that provide in-hand comfort for full workshifts, as well.
Presentation Scanner- These scanners sit on top of your counter or are mounted to poles or desks, creating a scanning window where you present the product to be scanned. Since you move the product instead of the scanner, a presentation scanner is a good choice for high volume scanning where you may move many products from a prep area to bagging area.
In-Counter Scanner- In-counter scanners are mounted into your counter, and provide even faster scanning than standard presentation scanners. They are very common in large department stores, grocery stores, or hardware stores. Often they incorporate a scale, allowing you to sell products by weight as well as barcode.
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