What Is Barcode Scanning and Why Is It Necessary? 01Nov
Epos , Epos for Hospitality

What Is Barcode Scanning and Why Is It Necessary?

For decades, barcodes have assisted businesses in packing information such as pricing and available inventory onto their items in order to speed things up at the checkout counter. Barcode scanning devices are currently employed in a wide range of industries, including medicine, tourism, manufacturing, entertainment, law, and many others you might not guess. Barcodes and dedicated barcode scanners are now an essential part of any high-functioning firm that seeks to improve its efficiency and asset management. 

Most people have seen a standard barcode scanner in a supermarket; however, there are many different types of scanners. Scanners can read different types of barcodes and perform various purposes; some scanners even perform operations that smart phones and mobile computers do not.

So, why are they so common? What benefits can a barcode scanning system provide businesses?


What is a barcode scanner?

A barcode scanner, also known as a point of sale (POS) scanner or a price scanner, is a device that captures and reads data from barcodes. The scanner then transmits the data to a computer database, either via a connected or wireless link. When scanned by a barcode scanners laser beam, these symbols generate a unique digital code.

To identify and distinguish products, barcodes are attached to and associated with them.

The scanner is made up of a source of light, a lens, and a light sensor that converts optical impulses to electrical impulses. They also have decoder circuitry that analyses the barcode image data produced by the sensor and sends it to a computer.

A barcode scanner works by sending a laser beam across the barcode and measuring how much light is reflected. The barcode's black bars will reflect less light than the white areas between them. The scanner then turns the light into electricity, which the decoder finally converts into information and transfer to a computer. 


Types of scanning Engine 

There are various barcode scanners; some use lasers, while others use lights or cameras to capture the barcode picture and convert it into an electronic code.



The laser scanner is the most common and well-known type of scanner. To read the barcode, it is scanning. This scanner employs a laser and a photo sensor to assess the reflection of the lines. It reads basic barcodes on a one-dimensional (1D) plane. It can read from two to twelve inches away, although other models can read from up to twenty feet away. Because of their inexpensive cost, these scanners are the most commonly used. They are, however, have limitations in what they can do. When attempting to scan, the laser diode frequently frustrates the user. Laser scanners employ lasers as their light source and produce fewer mistakes when scanning from a larger distance.



These scanners, like laser versions, can only read one-dimensional images, but they do it differently. As previously stated, the laser reads the label's black and white areas using a red light and a photo sensor. The linear scanner actually takes a photograph and then analyses it. This reduces the time required for processing and scanning. Because these scanners analyze photos rather than reflections, they need less light to operate. This laser is also far more tolerant of labels that have been damaged or torn during transit, which is common with barcodes.

Prices for these types have gotten relatively equivalent to laser models. However, the precision and quality of the scan are superior, making them the favored option.



Because they can read any barcode, these are the greatest scanners. It can be read in two dimensions, as the name implies. This has numerous advantages. For instance, you may scan in any orientation. With the scanner types, you must position the scanner on the same plane as the label, but with the 2D scanner, it doesn't matter if you read it portrait or landscape. This is referred to as unidirectional by some manufacturers. Like the linear models, this scanner takes photographs, so many businesses refer to their scanners as 2-dimensional linear scanners. 

This scanner's best feature is that it can read barcodes from any surface. In addition to the adhesive label barcode, it may scan a label on a computer screen or print directly on the equipment. You've probably used this type of scanner if you've ever checked in at an airport with your Smartphone. It's far more difficult to see a barcode or QR code from an LCD panel that doesn't reflect light than it is from a paper label that does.


Wireless vs. Wired

There is a significant price difference between the two. Even though the scanner is labeled as wireless, it must be connected to a computer in order to function. As a result, the most popular application is to place a cradle next to the computer that can connect to the POS device and function as a charging point for the barcode scanner. This also says that your POS computer doesn't require wireless device support.


Scanner Types



Handheld scanners are the most commonly used. These can be connected or wireless, but as the name suggests, they fit in the palm of your hand and can point and shoot with ease.



These scanners are intended to be placed on the cash wrap countertop. They can be picked and used as portable, but their screens are set up to "present" the barcode to the device rather than the device to the barcode. The screens and readers are often significantly larger than those found in mobile devices, allowing for a more forgiving scan and a broader scan radius. To put it differently, you don't have to be as exact with your aim on this scanner.


Why Do Businesses Use Barcode Scanners?


Barcodes are a verified and universal technology

The advantages of the barcode's continued use in trade are twofold. For starters, barcode scanning has had enough time to establish itself as an effective method of trade identification. Second, these small striped squares have become so popular in our modern society that many low-cost variations are available. 


Barcode reduces errors

Extend errors to entire systems: shipping, receiving and buying and selling billions of dollars of stuff. The number of inaccuracies introduced would be disastrous. Barcodes help to prevent these incidents by standardizing the collection and tracking of product data.


Barcodes are inexpensive 

Barcodes scanners are affordable. Whether you have commodities for sale, raw materials, finished products, tools, parts supplies, or anything in between, barcode inventory management has numerous advantages. Barcode scanners are affordable and widely utilized as the gold standard for product scanning around the world.


What are the benefits of using a barcode scanner?


While there are distinctions between the various types of barcode readers, the benefits shared by all will make an investment in a specialized scanner over a less expensive option well worth it.

It is integrated into your system in the following ways: Barcode scanners are simply keyboards that connect directly to your existing systems; smart phones, on the other hand, will most likely require Bluetooth adapters and drivers to connect to your point of sale (POS) system.

There are a few software issues: Barcode scanners are not affected by viruses, do not require software upgrades, and are not interrupted by texts or phone calls from other scanners.

Durability: Barcode scanners are built to last and can operate for years without issue.

Functionality: They can scan codes swiftly and from a distance, leaving behind other common non-reader challenges such as balancing battery life and slow operating systems.