6 Types of Barcode Readers and their Benefits for Businesses

Barcode readers are small handheld devices that scan unique QR codes and translate them into letters or numbers. You may have seen these readers in supermarkets, pharmacies, and small convenience stores. They give you relevant details so that you can learn about your purchase. This tool is important because several consumers are checking out of stores or getting their medicines at any given time, and inaccurate data can be a costly mistake. More than 80% of shoppers are highly likely not to return to the same store if the cashier makes an error and charges them incorrectly. 

Likewise, bar code readers also reduce medication errors by 50%. As a result, these tech innovations are a significant asset to every industry. They bring productivity, accuracy, and efficiency into every business model. However, there is not one type of bar code reader. Each unit is tailored for different enterprises, and here’s what you need to know about them:

  1. Bluetooth Barcode Readers

Bluetooth barcode readers are wireless scanners that don’t use USB or adapters to connect your device to your computer. Instead, it has a built-in transmitter that allows you to synchronize your device’s barcode unit. There are several places where your Bluetooth barcode scanner will come in handy, making it a good investment for your business. 

The benefits include inventory checking, getting through bulky items in a shopping cart, needing a mobile coupon checkout, or scanning the small price tag attached to all types of jewelry. Additionally, you also have the freedom to move around the store and can inspect items up to ten meters away from the connecting port. Consumers can also use it to scan large appliances like washing machines, saving the hassle of manually calculating the price and looking up the brand.

  1. In-Counter Barcode Scanners

In-counter barcode scanners are stationary devices built inside the counter. These readers use a red laser diode which emits a red light that picks up the code, sending an analog signal to the computer to decode and give you information on the product. So, your hands are free to grab the item and run it over the scanner instead of holding it. 

This sort of gadget is best for large retail stores where consumers buy products in large quantities. These are also suitable for self-checkout stations, where clients can easily interact with the device to tally up their products. Additional applications include using them to read loyalty cards, check mobile codes, scan a personnel badge and validate coupons.

  1. Wearable Barcode Scanners

Wearable scanners are fast and hands-free substitutes for handheld scanners. They allow you to use both hands without needing to balance a pointing device. It is also ergonomic for employees who may find the handheld barcode reader hard to hold for long. Wearable scanners also come in various designs; some strap around the wrist and need you to point at the product for scanning, while others may have a keypad. Some require looping around the fingers or the arm.

Additionally, some wearable scanners come in head gears that are comfortable to wear and use audio signals to guide the worker where to point. Most wearable scanners use Bluetooth to connect with the processing unit or may have a built-in transmitter. Employees with too many items to go through, such as inventory management in warehouses, storage units, and item inspection, may find it easier to use a wearable scanner. It allows them to work the entirety of the building without interrupting the connection.

  1. Fixed Mount Barcode Reader

Fixed mount barcode readers are also stationary devices installed at a certain height and location. These use lasers to decode all 1D, 2D, and direct part marking barcodes within seconds. This barcode reader comes in handy for consumers as they do their groceries. The barcode reader comes in a compact size, making it easy to put beside shelves, on walls, or stands at a certain angle, making running the product over the scanner convenient. It helps consumers know the price and details of the product they plan on buying, allowing a line to build up. You can also set the scanner throughout large department stores without losing connection with the processing system. 

You don’t need to stand next to the reader or use it to scan the consumer’s product for them. It is a self-sufficient device that anyone with complete autonomy can use. This facility boosts productivity and prevents clients from interrupting your transactions when you’re checking out items for another consumer. 

As fixed mount barcode readers can pick up DPM barcodes, you can use them to track products and bring them back for security purposes. The fixed-mount barcode scanner is also durable enough to get fitted on forklifts and warehouse machines during inventory management. Businesses that commonly use this device include pharmacies and airports to scan boarding passes and QR codes on mobile phones.

  1. Mobile Computer Barcode Scanners

Mobile computer barcode readers are small devices with a keyboard and small screen, making them different from most handheld scanners. These readers are highly sensitive, making them suitable for scanning and storing products in the computer’s internal memory. Mobile computer barcode scanners use Wi-Fi, WLAN, or mobile data, making them valuable wireless devices. These convenient gadgets can help you get through your warehouse items used in retail and checking out cars. 

Mobile computer barcode readers are both a PC and scanner built into one device, so they don’t need special software or need to get plugged into an external device to log in your scanned items. You can scroll through your device and tap on the products to look up their information. Most delivery personnel also use a mobile computer barcode reader to confirm that the customer received their item.

  1. Camera-Based Barcode Readers

Camera-based barcode readers have a small video camera to capture a picture of the barcode. These images then go through a complex digital image processing mechanism which translates the code into a readable quantity. These gadgets have numerous rows of sensors arranged in a 2D array, which can capture the whole image at various points. The lens in these devices can pick up the contrast between the light and dark bars, making the QR code readable. 

The most common example of camera-based barcode readers is smartphones. These can scan barcodes on pallets, packages, and shipping labels. Airports personnel can use these scanners to read the tags on suitcases and bags and retrieve lost luggage. You can also find them in the food and beverage industry to scan packages to trace common allergens, check product quality, and track the supply chain.

Final Thoughts

Barcodes are images that comprise a series of parallel lines along with the product’s identification and serial number at the bottom. However, to make sense of the information present in this image, you need to use a barcode reader. Several barcode readers are available on the market, each serving a distinct purpose. These include Bluetooth bar code readers that connect wirelessly without needing a USB port and help scan small price tags and bulky items. Another example comprises in-counter barcode scanners fitted in the checkout counter to read personnel badges and large amounts of purchases at a time. 

Wearable barcode scanners are another wireless option to strap onto your wrist and head to scan products such as those in warehouses and storage without needing a handheld device. 

Furthermore, a fixed mount barcode reader is a nifty, compact, and small portable gadget that can get attached to various surfaces encouraging consumers to self-checkout and locate lost goods. Your other options include mobile barcode readers that are both a computer and a scanner, making them an utterly autonomous contraption. 

Finally, camera-based barcode readers are the most innovative and modern types of readers fitted in most smartphones. These get widely used for reading tags on suitcases and details on food packages. Whichever barcode reader you use, it will speed up the inventory and purchase processes to improve your overall business operations. 

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