There are many different types of barcode scanners out there today. Each model and make of scanner has its own unique capabilities and limitations.
This simply means that some scanners can scan certain types of barcodes while others cannot.
While laser barcodes scanners have gained a lot of popularity over the years due to their efficiency and low cost, these scanners are not capable of scanning barcodes off of LCD screens or displays.
This means you cannot scan a barcode displayed on a flat-screen TV or a mobile phone using a typical laser barcode scanner.
First and foremost, laser scanners are not capable of scanning 2D barcodes or QR codes that are commonly displayed on LCD and OLED screens.
Only special type of scanners known as 2D imaging barcode scanners are capable of doing this.
You may be asking yourself, why aren’t laser scanners able to scan barcodes off of digital screens and displays? Well, it’s all due to how they work.
Laser barcode scanners scan barcodes by emitting light which is then reflected back to give information about the barcode.
Typically, 1D barcodes are made up of white and black lines with spaces of different widths in between them.
Laser barcode scanners are incapable of scanning barcodes displayed on screen simply because the screens/displays give off light themselves.
This leads to light not being reflected back for the scanners to read.
Types of Barcodes
Most LCD screens out there today have an anti-reflection feature that reduces glare and this feature causes the screens to produce a lot of light.
Unlike 1D barcodes, 2D barcodes, like QR codes, are made up of squares instead of lines.
2D barcodes are much more complex than the conventional 1D barcodes.
This allows them to hold significantly more information than normal barcodes.
1D barcodes are simple and can only hold a limited range of information such as product name, price and related information.
This type of barcodes are usually printed on small strips of paper or labels.
2D Barcode Scanners
2D barcode scanners can scan both 1D and 2D barcodes.
This means that these scanners can scan barcodes off of LCD screens and displays as well as physical labels.
There are currently many different types of 2D barcode scanners out there today.
Some 2D barcode scanners are hands-free and can be used in large stores and warehouses.
Other scanners function and look like the more conventional point and shoot laser scanners, where a laser beam is still used to locate the barcode.
There are also 2D barcode scanners that are integrated into other portable devices like mobile phones and tablets.
These scanners are gaining a lot of popularity due to their effectiveness and ease of use.
Which Barcode Scanner Should You Buy?
Now that you know the different types of barcode scanners out there in the market, the next step is to decide which scanner will meet your needs best.
It’s paramount that you identify the exact location or purpose for which your scanner will be used.
This is necessary in order to establish the exact application your scanner will be used for.
For instance, you may need a barcode scanner for a point-of-sale terminal in a supermarket.
This type of barcode scanner will be used to scan 1D barcodes on product labels. This means that a typical laser scanner will be okay.
However, if you intend to use your barcode scanner for more applications like reading barcodes off of screens and displays, you should go for a 2D barcode scanner instead.
This type of scanner will serve your needs adequately without causing you any inconveniences.
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Our team would be happy to discuss your needs and to help you build new, more efficient workflows that will support the best operation of your warehouse or store.
We have the right tools for companies of all sizes and will work to accommodate your business, supplying you with technologies that are tailored to suit your business to help improve your efficiency and accountability.
We are the market leader when it comes to the development of customised and packaged solutions.
This includes Inventory Management, Portable Barcode Readers, Supply Chain Management, Time and Attendance and Asset Tracking to name but a few.