From inventory control to reducing human error and saving time, point-of-sale (POS) scanners, also called a price scanner or barcode reader, are used to help employees get tasks done.

A POS scanner is a hand-held or stationary input device used to capture and translate information from a barcode. Barcodes, such as UPC codes, use intricate patterns of blocks and arrangements to store information. For example, they can keep track of shipments, price retail items, read magnetic stripes, just to name a few functions.

Today, we’ll showcase six types of barcode readers. They are: charged couple device (CCD) scanner/LED scanner, image scanner/camera reader, video camera reader, laser scanner, large field-of-view readers, and omnidirectional barcode scanners.
1. CCD Scanner/LED Scanner

Highly accurate and typically expensive, a charged coupled device (CCD) or LED scanner features hundred of tiny lights arranged in a long row. You will typically see this gun-like scanner in retail stores. It reduces error by taking several scans at a time.

2. Image Scanner/Camera Reader

This scanner uses a small video camera to capture an image of the barcode. It can read a barcode anywhere from 3-9 inches away.

3. Video camera readers

Using the same CCD technology as in a CCD bar code reader, the video camera reader has hundreds of rows of sensors arranged in a two dimensional array so that they can generate an image.

4. Laser Scanner

This scanner uses a system of mirrors and lenses to read the barcode from up to 24 inches away. To reduce error the laser scanner may perform 500 scans per second, and can either be mounted in a scanning unit or be part of a handheld unit.

5. Large Field-of-View Readers

This reader uses high-resolution industrial cameras to capture multiple bar codes simultaneously, while decoding instantly.

6. Omnidirectional Barcode Scanners

Omnidirectional scanners produce a pattern of beams in varying orientations allowing the device to read the barcodes presented to it at different angles. This type of scanner is most familiar through the horizontal scanners in supermarkets, where packages are slid over a window.

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