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Barcode Scanner Classifications Guide

By aisltd, Wednesday, 5th August 2020 | 0 comments

Barcode scanners are often categorised based on their scanning capabilities. In this blog we go through the most common terms and categories used for barcode scanners. 

This can mean you’ll see things like laser barcode scanners and imagers. You might also find barcode scanners grouped according to their class. This can be POS (point of sale), industrial barcode scanners, and more. Then you have functionality categories such as handheld, wireless, and portable. Knowing what all these different classifications and terms mean can really help when deciding on the barcode scanner that will suit your business requirements. Below are some of the most common terms and categories used for barcode scanners.

Handheld Barcode Scanner: This is a rather broad term and it essentially refers to scanners that are portable and can be used with one hand. They are typically trigger like devices that have a point and scan function. Handheld barcode scanners can be corded or cordless and they can scan a combination of 1D, 2D, and postal codes. They are also capable of capturing barcodes using either laser or imaging technology.

Laser Barcode Scanners: These tend to be compatible with 1D barcodes only. This type of barcode scanner relies on a laser beam light source which scan back and forth on the barcode. The barcodes are decoded using a photo diode that measure the intensity of the light reflected from the laser and a decoder then interprets it before sending the information to a computing source in a format that can be read by the user.

Image Barcode Scanners: These barcode scanners relay on image capture rather than a laser to read barcodes. The barcodes are decoded using a digital image processing technology.

Wireless Handheld Barcode Scanners:  These can also be called cordless. They rely on a rechargeable power source. They can be laser or image barcode scanners and one thing to check before purchasing is how long a full battery charge will last. This is especially important if staff will be using the device away from its charging source and a long battery life will be essential.

Industrial Barcode Scanners: There are industrial scanners and these are models that can be used in harsh environments. They usually have a durable plastic or hardwearing material construction. These barcode scanners also come with IP ratings which is an international rating systems for electronic devices that is based on resistance to environmental hazards. These hazards include dust, moisture, etc.

Omni-Directional Barcode Scanners: These types of scanners use a series of lasers that create a mixed grid pattern more so than a single straight line laser. The Omni-directional functionality allows these models to scan and decode both 1D and 2D barcodes.

As you can see, there are a number of different classifications when it comes to purchasing a barcode scanner for your business and knowing the different types can make it easier to select the model that will best suit your needs. Our expert staff are always on hand to answer any questions you might have and our range of barcode scanners are top of the range. Get in touch today to find out what model and type of barcode scanner you should purchase.



Automatic Identification Systems Ltd


Automatic Identification Systems Ltd
Unit 35 Eastgate Drive,
Little Island, Cork,  
T45 C925, Ireland

Phone: +353 (0)21 2355540


AIS Automation Ltd
Unit 6, Centenary Business Park
Coes Road Industrial Estate
Dundalk A91 HF95, Ireland

Phone: +353 (0)42 935992


AIS Vision Systems S.L
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08202 Sabadell,
Barcelona, Spain

Phone: +34 931 003 035


AIS-Scanology B.V. 
Laan de Wijze 20,
5835 DS Beugen
The Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0)485-561616

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