Barcode Scanner Terms and Classifications

Barcode scanners are commonly categorized by scanning capabilities, such as laser barcode scanners and imagers, but you may also find barcode scanners grouped according to class, such as POS (point-of-sale), industrial, and other types, or by function, such as handheld, wireless, and portable. Here are a few common terms used to define and categories barcode scanners.

Handheld Barcode Scanner – This broad term refers to barcode scanners that are portable and easily used with one-hand operation. These scanners typically use a trigger-like mechanism with point-and-scan functionality. Handheld barcode scanners may be corded or cordless, capable of scanning any combination of 1D, 2D, and postal codes, and capture barcodes using a laser or imaging technology.

Laser Barcode Scanners – Laser barcode scanners, typically, are compatible with 1D barcodes only. These scanners rely on a laser beam light source, which is scanned back and forth across the bar code. The bar code is decoded using a photo diode which measures the light intensity reflected back from the laser, and a decoder interprets the waveforms produced as a result. The barcode reader then sends the information to your computing source in a more traditional data format.

Image Barcode Scanners – An imager, or image barcode scanner, relies on image capture rather than a laser to read and interpret barcodes. Barcode labels are decoded using sophisticated digital image processing functionality.

Wireless or Cordless Handheld Barcode Scanners – Wireless, or cordless barcode scanners, rely on a rechargeable power source to provide cord-free operation. These barcode scanners may be laser or image scanners. A key consideration in choosing this type of barcode scanner is how long a full battery charge lasts, on average, under typical use. If your scanning needs require staff to be in the field, away from a charging source, for many hours, you’ll want a barcode scanner with a long battery life.

Industrial Barcode Scanners – Some handheld barcode scanners are called industrial barcode scanners. This typically indicates that the scanner is constructed with durable plastics and other materials that allow it to function in less-than-ideal or harsh environments. These scanners are also tested and sometimes classified with an IP rating (Ingress Protection Rating), an international rating system that classifies electronics based on resistance to environmental hazards such as dust, moisture, and other conditions.

Omni-Directional Barcode Scanners – Omni-directional barcode scanners rely on a laser, but a complex and interwoven series of lasers creating a mixed-grid pattern, rather than a single, straight-line laser. Omni-directional barcode scanners are laser scanners, but the omni-directional functionality enables these scanners to decode 2D barcodes in addition to 1D barcodes.


Post time: Jun-10-2021