We have all seen barcode scanners when we have gone shopping or when we have entered items onto a gift registry at any major department store. Barcode scanners have become as routine as the ATM in the last few decades. Because barcode scanners are so common today, many people may simply not think too much about the technology of barcode scanners. There are actually several types of barcode scanners including pen-type scanners, laser scanners, CCD readers, and camera-based readers.

Many stores use pen-type barcode scanners during their checkout process. These barcode scanners are thin and consist of a single light source and a photodiode that are fitted within a wand that resembles a pen. In order to scan a barcode, the cashier just slides the tip of the wand across the barcode. Laser barcode scanners may be the most commonly seen types of barcode scanners today. These barcode scanners work just like the pen-type scanner with the only difference being the laser light source.

Less commonly known barcode scanners are the CCD readers. The CCD readers are also known as LED scanners and use hundreds of tiny light sensors to read the barcode. These are relatively new and you may see more of them in stores soon. Lastly, camera-based barcode scanners are the newest type of barcode scanners available. These scanners are equipped with a tiny video camera that captures the image of the barcode and enters it into the system.

Regardless of the UPC code or barcode on the package of a product, barcode scanners are required to easily enter the code into the system. While many merchants are equipped with a manual option (ie. using a keypad to enter the UPC code into the computer), barcode scanners simply make this process much easier and more efficient. Scanning an UPC code with barcode scanners also eliminates room for human error of misreading an item number

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