Barcode Scanners

What is a barcode scanner?
A barcode scanner is an equipment that reads the barcode, translates the series of bars and spaces to characters and then sends the data to the computer. Typically a POS (point-of-sale program) is installed in the computer end with the barcode containing product number information. When the product number arrives, the POS will then retrieved the relevant information like product price and calculate the total amount the customer has to pay.

What's the difference between CCD and laser scanners?
  • CCD (Charge Coupled Device) - Works like a very simple camera that sends out red colored light to scan the barcode. The series of bars and spaces are then translated and sent as data to the computer.
  • Laser Scanners - Works by sending the laser light across the barcode. Laser scanners can still work reliably even when the barcode is placed quite a distance away.
What's a triggerless scanner?
A triggerless scanner is one that automatically scans the barcode when an object is placed in front of it. The advantage of such a scanner is that the person operating the scanner do not need to press any button to activate the scanner and thus free up his hands for other tasks.

How does a barcode scanner plug into a computer?
Barcode scanners can connect to a computer via a serial port, USB port, keyboard port or an interface device called a "wedge".

What is a Wedge?
A wedge is a device that allows a keyboard and barcode scanner to be pluged into a computer using the same port.