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What Are Barcode Scanners and How do They Work?

Posted on July 20, 2020 Sara Lewis What Are Barcode Scanners and How do They Work?
Whether you are purchasing groceries at the supermarket or construction tools at a home improvement retailer, you have most likely noticed that almost everything has a barcode that can be scanned and read. These barcodes, known as UPC (Universal Product Codes), are a part of a widely utilized system that has greatly increased the efficiency of tracking parts, maintaining inventory, and speed of sales across many industries and retail stores. The UPC of an item allows one to identify an item and find its brand name, size, color, and other information almost immediately upon scan. To scan these codes and harness their many capabilities, technologies such as barcode scanners and readers are used.
A barcode scanner is a type of optical scanner, capable of reading and translating the data of a barcode. This data is then sent to a computer to be used for various operations depending on the need, such as cataloguing, point of sale, and more. To decode the data that is stored within barcodes, barcode scanners have decoder circuitry which analyses image data obtained by the secor and then sends it to an output port. To view the barcode for translation, light sources, lens, and light sensors are used. There are also many available types of barcode reader and barcode scanner equipment, including those such as pen-type readers, laser scanners, CCD readers, camera-based readers, omnidirectional barcode scanners, and more.
While barcodes were originally designed and patented in the 1950’s by Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland, they did not fully become recognizable until the later half of the century as they were improved upon and began being implemented within supermarket checkout systems to improve automation. With the later developed Uniform Grocery Product Code Council, new and improved barcodes bagan to be used and spread to many other applications and industries. Nowadays, barcodes may be used for almost any product or item that is not fresh produce.
Even beyond bought and sold products, barcodes have found extended use in other sectors, such as medical fields. Within healthcare and hospitals, barcodes have been used to identify patients, allowing servicers to access a patient’s medical history, allergies, and other patient data. They may also help in the organization of documents, tracking species for biology, and much more. Even in rental services, barcodes may be implemented for the tracking of cars, airline luggage, registered mail, nuclear waste, express mail, and parcels.
With scanners, personnel dealing with all of these types of barcodes and items can easily conduct their work, ensuring the flow of service with high speeds and efficiency. As technology continues to develop, barcode scanners and barcode readers are also improving, allowing for workers to scan items wirelessly, sending data through wireless or bluetooth means. Even modern smartphones have now begun to feature barcode decoding in their built-in cameras, allowing for the scanning of barcodes for many uses.
When it comes time to begin sourcing the barcode scanner and reader components that you need for your operations, ASAP IT Technology has you covered with everything you are searching for. ASAP IT Technology is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aviation, NSN, and electronic parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA 0056B, AS9120B, and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1 (714) 705-4780.

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