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What Can You Read on a Barcode

A barcode is a sequence of data codes, which are recognizable by an electronic device. In this modern era, barcodes are indispensable for everyday activities within almost all human endeavors. Barcodes are widely used in the shipment industry, logistics, retail industry, and much more.

Information Contained in a Barcode

There are generally two types of barcodes: the 1-dimensional and the 2-dimensional (QR) barcodes. Each type can store a different amount of data. The 2-dimensional barcode stores more information than the 1-dimensional barcode. For both the 1-dimensional and the 2-dimensional barcodes, there is various type of each. Each type of barcode is structured slightly differently from another. A typical barcode reader usually reads off a barcode several data points, translating into human recognizable information. The 1-dimensional barcode is made of parallel lines with different widths. Each line represents a specific code. The 2-dimensional consists of both horizontal and vertical lines that form a pattern. The name of a manufacturer, price, and expiry date of produce can be read off a 1-dimensional barcode. With the 2-dimensional barcode, several different information can be stored. An email address, a website, a contact address, or a phone number can be stored within this barcode. However, the information stored within any barcode can only be read using a barcode scanner.

Barcode Scanners

For these barcodes to be utilized, the code must be read by a barcode scanner. In essence, there are four types of barcode scanners. Each scanner is suitable for reading a 1-dimensional, 2-dimensional barcode, or both. These scanners are discussed below.

Laser Barcode Scanner

The laser barcode scanner is one of the most innovative scanners. It is able to read barcodes with minimal scanning errors. The laser scanner works by emitting and receiving a laser beam on a barcode. This type of laser can be fixed or a component of a hand device. The laser barcode scanner works well with a 1-dimensional barcode.

Pen Barcode Scanner

A pen barcode scanner looks exactly like a pen. It is made of a photodiode, and an LED embedded within the pen. To use the pen scanner, a user can quickly run the pen over the barcode. The pen scanner's operation principle is similar to that of the laser scanner in that light is emitted and reflected by a sensor. Pen barcode readers are fairly inaccurate and can only read 1-dimensional barcodes.

CCD (charge coupled device)

This scanner is another type of device that utilizes an LED for its operations. However, unlike a pen scanner, a CCD reader is quite expensive yet fairly accurate. This scanner can read both 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional barcodes.

2-dimensional Camera Barcode Scanner

As the name implies, this scanner is used to scan 2-dimensional barcodes. The 2-dimensional barcode stores more information than a regular barcode. Therefore, a camera reader allows a user to read the information on this type of code. The 2-dimensional camera barcode can be a simple smartphone camera, which makes it easy to use.

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