You must have shopped today, or the day before yesterday. When you checked-in at the counter, the cashier scanned your articles one-by-one through a hand-held machine. This device is called a Barcode Scanner. But do you really know what barcodes are? As a consumer, we often see a white label with thin, black lines etched parallel to each other and accompanied by a variation of numbers. These are being used everywhere, whether you purchase items from a retail store, rent a car, attend an event, buy flying tickets, or when you check in at your local hospital. Barcode scanning system helps businesses to track a large volume of critical information. This, in turn, increases productivity and efficiency. To improve your business process, here’s a guide to understand how a barcode works –
Evolution of The Barcode
In the month of June of 1974, the first barcode appeared on a pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum. Since then, barcodes have been spotted on almost every retail item.
What is Barcode?
The Barcode is technically defined as a machine-readable form of information imprinted on a scannable, optical surface. They’re often known as UPCs (Universal Product Codes). They can only be read using a scanner that scans data when it comes into direct contact with the barcoded area. This scanning is done through high-precision laser light. Then, the acquired information is transmitted into a database where it can be logged and tracked anytime.
Do you know what these numbers are all about? On a barcode, each number has a special meaning. But a lone number gets individuality by being added, multiplied or divided with the other numbers in the barcode in some special formula.
Types of Barcode
There are two types of barcodes – linear and 2D. The most visually recognizable one amongst them is the linear barcode. It has two parts – the barcode and the 12-digit UPC. On a barcode – the first six numbers that appear are the manufacturer’s identification number, and the next five numbers represent the item’s unique number. What about the last digit, you say? It is called the check digit and it allows the scanner to determine if the barcode was scanned correctly or not. Typically, a linear barcode can hold any text information.
A 2D barcode, on the contrary, is slightly complex and can embed more information in its code. The stored information can be price, quantity, web address, or even image. A linear barcode scanner cannot read a 2D barcode.
Now, what is this Barcode Scanner that interprets these Barcodes?
A barcode scanner scans the black elements of a barcode by illuminating the code with a red laser light. This scan is then converted into text by matching it from the available database. Specifically, there is a sensor present in the barcode scanner that detects reflected light (red light) from the system and generates analog signal to send to the decoder. Then the decoder interprets that signal, authenticates the barcode using the check digit, and translates it into text.
Barcode Scanners have diverse capabilities that can boost your business. So, buy barcode scanners online and give your business new heights in the market.