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A barcode scanner plays an important role in the efficient operation of a business. As an indispensable part of a point of sale system, it reads barcodes and converts them into matching code. It then communicates with a computer to transmit the product information to the point of sale software used by a business. Once transmitted, a business can use the information to trace inventory, determine prices, and ring up products for customer purchases. Staples® carries an assortment of point of sale systems with enhanced features to accommodate companies both large and small.
Corded and Cordless Barcode Scanners to Meet Business Needs These scanners come in corded and cordless options and the right one depends on the business and its needs. Corded scanners connect to the computer via a USB, serial, or specialized connection. This type is suitable for use with workstations such as cash registers. For inventory systems and other applications that require more mobility, a cordless scanner is the better option. These have a base station that connects to a computer and the scanner communicates with it wirelessly.
A Barcode Scanner With the Right Technology A barcode scanner uses either laser, LED, or 2D technology. Laser devices, the most common type, scan items from a few inches to several feet away depending on the exact model. This option features a laser beam that shoots at an internal mirror. The mirror then moves in order for the laser to sweep across the barcode. LED scanners contain dozens of LED lights arranged in a row. Once shot at a barcode, these lights measure the voltage of ambient light in front of each bulb. Some scanners use a 2D camera to read the barcode. These feature hundreds of lights in multiple rows and when flashed on the barcode, they take a digital picture. These only work with 2D barcodes.
A Barcode Scanner for Fast and Accurate Scanning Barcode scanners have different scan rates depending on the exact model. The scan rate determines how fast the device captures accurate data. The rate ranges from 5 scans per second to over 500 per second. The higher the rate, the quicker the scanner processes items. The devices also have differing distance capabilities. Short range models can scan barcodes a few inches away, making them ideal for retail stores that scan items at a register. Long range ones read barcodes up to 50 feet or more away. These come in handy in warehouses and other environments requiring more distance.
What Is an Omnidirectional Barcode Scanner? An Omnidirectional scanner works like a laser scanner. This type however, has additional mirrors and reflective devices that change one laser line into several. These lines run at different angles allowing for faster scan rates with less accurate aiming. Another benefit is they offer a wider reading area.
What Type of Displays Do Barcode Scanners Have? Many scanners do not feature any type of display while others have a standard screen or a touchscreen. Scanners with screens have the ability to display product information after scanning a barcode. They also allow employers to send employees transaction feedback so errors are noticed immediately.