A barcode is a machine-readable representation of data that is encoded as a series of vertical bars of varying widths and spacings. Barcodes are typically used to store information such as product prices, product numbers, and other product-related data. The most common type of barcode is the UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode, which is used on most retail products in the United States and Canada. Barcode readers, also known as barcode scanners, are used to read the data encoded in a barcode by shining a light on the bars and interpreting the resulting reflection.
How it works?
A barcode works by encoding data as a series of black and white bars of varying widths and spacings. The data is encoded using a standardized symbology, such as the UPC (Universal Product Code) or QR (Quick Response) code. Each barcode symbology has its own set of rules for encoding data, such as the number of digits that can be encoded and the types of characters that can be used.
When a barcode scanner reads a barcode, it shines a light on the bars and measures the reflection. The scanner then interprets the pattern of black and white bars, and uses the rules of the symbology to decode the data that is encoded in the bar code. The decoded data is then sent to a computer or other device, where it can be used to look up product information, track inventory, or perform other tasks.
The scanner uses a sensor to detect the light reflected off the bars and spaces of the code, then sends the data to a decoder, which interprets the data and sends it to the computer or other device for processing.
Types of barcodes:
- Quick Response (QR) Codes
- Data Matrix
- Universal Product Codes (UPC)
- Code 128
- Code 39
How to read Barcode?
There are several types of devices that can read bar codes, including:
- Handheld barcode scanners: These are handheld devices that are used to scan bar codes. They typically have a small window through which the bar code is scanned, and a trigger that is used to activate the scanner.
- Stationary bar code scanners: These are devices that are fixed in place, such as at a retail checkout counter. They typically have a larger scanning window and can be used to scan bar codes on larger items such as boxes.
- Barcode readers: These are devices that are built into other equipment, such as mobile phones and tablets, which can read bar codes using the device’s camera.
- CCD scanner : These type of scanners use a charged-coupled device (CCD) to capture an image of the bar code and then decodes the data contained in the bar code.
- Laser scanner : These type of scanners use a laser beam to read bar code, the beam is scanned across the bar code and a sensor detects the light reflected back from the bars.
- 2D barcode scanner: These are devices that can read 2D bar codes, such as QR codes, which store more information than traditional 1D bar codes.
- Smartphone Barcode Scanner: Many mobile apps are available for smartphones and tablets which allows to scan bar code using the camera of the device.