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Barcode Reader Types and What Do They Do

By aisltd, Monday, 17th August 2020 | 0 comments

If you are looking to purchase a barcode reader it is important to understand the difference between barcode reading and barcode verification. Our experts explain the difference.

Verification measures the quality of a 1D barcode or a 2D symbol. This is done using a quality standard description. You can purchase barcode verification devices as well as barcode readers.

There is a difference between barcode reading and barcode verification which our AIS Ltd experts describe below.

Barcode Readers – What Do They Do?

Barcode readers are used to read and recognise barcode symbology. The barcode reader analyses the content of the barcode and extracts the coded data it contains. It will then transmit this data to a computer so that the user can understand it. Reading barcodes is not the same as verifying them and seeing if they are accurate and of high quality. Some people think that a barcode reader can be used to check the health of a barcode and they assume if the device can read it that it is a good barcode. This is not true. Just because your barcode reader can extract the data from a barcode doesn’t mean the barcode’s print quality will be accessible over time or on different barcode readers. For example, you might use a barcode reader that has advanced decoding algorithms that can read extra data from a damaged barcode but the barcode might not be able to be read by someone else with a different barcode reader.

What is Barcode Verification?

Barcode verification systems are used to measure the quality of a barcode. This can be a 1D barcode or a 2D symbol. This is done by comparing what the barcode verifier sees, to the physical characteristics that an ideal, high quality barcode is supposed to have. The comparison is done using quality barcode parameters that are already agreed upon. This can include the shape, contrast, size of the barcode and more. Barcode quality standards are regulated by organisations such as the ISO and this makes sure that all barcodes can be read the first time around no matter what type of barcode reader is used. Barcode verifiers help to ensure the long term readability of barcodes and if something is wrong you will be alerted to the defects so that they can be corrected.

Types of Barcode Readers

There are four different types of barcode readers that you can choose from. These are pen type readers or barcode wands, laser barcode readers, CCD or Charge Couple Devices barcode readers, and camera based barcode readers. Each of these use different technology to read and decode barcodes.

Pen Type: This type of barcode reader uses a light source and a photo diode that are placed next to each other in the tip of the wand. In order to read the barcode the user drags the tip of the pen across all the bars in the barcode in a steady motion. The intensity of the light reflected back then generates a waveform based on the width and spaces in the barcode. This waveform is then decoded and sent to your computer in a format that can be read.

Laser Barcode Reader: This type of barcode reader works the same way as the pen type. The only difference being that a laser beam is used.

CCD Barcode Reader: This type of reader uses tiny light sensors that are lined up in a row in the head of the reader. A waveform is generated and then sent to the decoder which is then decoded and the data is sent to your computer.

Camera based Readers: This type of barcode reader uses a small video camera in order to capture an image of the barcode which is then processed using sophisticated technology to decode the barcode.

For more information on barcode readers and what model is right for you be sure to get in touch with our AIS Ltd experts today.