How does a barcode scanner work?

Posted by Jim Walker

If we don’t have the technology to read barcodes, it’s a waste of money. For barcode scanners to be effective, the zebra stripes on products must be scanned very quickly. The computer or checkout terminal can use a product database to identify them after receiving that information immediately.

These are their methods. Let’s pretend that barcodes are just on-off switches for the sake of simplicity. It’s a series of binary patterns, where each black line represents one while each white line represents a zero. The pieces of the UPC barcode scanning system are shown in this simple numbered figure.

  • An LED or laser light beams on the barcode using a scanning head.
  • A photoelectric cell is a light-detection electrical component that receives light reflected off a barcode. The barcode’s white regions reflect the most light, while the barcode’s black areas absorb it.
  • A pattern of on-off pulses is generated as the scanner passes over the barcode, corresponding to the black and white stripes. In this case, the cell would be “off” because of the code (“black black white black white black white”) displayed above.
  • These on-off pulses are converted to binary digits by a circuit linked to the scanner (zeros and ones).
  • As a result, the binary digits are delivered to a scanner-connected computer, which decodes them into the number 11101011.
  • A single photoelectric cell can be found in some scanners. Data is collected as the scanner head passes the product (or the product past the scanner head). Each segment of the black-and-white barcode is picked up by the cell one at a time. A continuous line of photoelectric cells is used to detect the full barcode at once when using a more advanced scanner.

It is a common misconception that scanners detect 0s and 1s and output binary integers. They look for black-and-white striped patterns, as demonstrated below, but instead of decomposing such patterns into binary digits, they return a decimal number.

What is a barcode scanner used for?

To capture and read the data in barcodes, you’ll need a barcode scanner, also known as a point-of-sale scanner or a price scanner. Optical impulses are translated into electrical impulses by the scanner’s light source, lens, and light sensor.

How do handheld barcode scanners work?

A barcode scanner uses a light beam as an input device. After that, it decodes the information and transmits it to a computer. Using a decoder, computers can interpret the barcode symbols, translate the text in the code, and send that information back to the scanner.

How does a camera barcode scanner work?

This is accomplished by using an infrared LED or laser light to shine on the barcode, which is then detected by the scanner’s photoelectric cell. Light is reflected from the white portions of the barcode but is absorbed by the black ones.

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