Each barcode has specific symbols defined as a series of bars in a barcode. The way to differentiate the barcode is by the height and width as well as the bar spacing. Each strip of bar can represent a number, character or alphanumeric character depending on which type of barcode symbology set is used.
Usually a barcode contains a start and end bar to denote the starting and ending point of the barcode. Sometimes, there is an additional bar called the checksum bar. The purpose of the checksum bar is used to determine whether the barcode is correct after calculation and ensures the accuracy of the barcode.
The barcode scanner’s photosensors can then read the barcodes and convert them to electrical pulses. Since each strip of bar is equivalent to a character, the barcode software can easily convert these electrical pulses into readable text that can be displayed on a monitor. This process is actually very fast and only takes a few milliseconds.
Nowadays there are many varieties of barcode scanners models. Their usage depends a lot on the type of industry and the work environment. Examples are desktop models, handheld and portable models.
One of the most popular type is the wireless barcode scanner. They connect to the base station or workstations wirelessly and can transmit data back to the terminal as long as they are within the wireless range radius.
Wireless barcode scanner are often used in the warehouse industry where workers can easily scan a barcode that can be placed in awkward positions or angles. It is also used in industries where goods are often moving from one location to another. Using a wireless barcode scanner allows freedom of movement and thus more efficient.