Various emerging technologies have changed the business world, from cloud computing to smartphone applications that track productivity and improve communication. But arguably the most revolutionary technology is one that has been around for generations: barcode scanners. Entrepreneurs who rely on global supply chains to move inventory from warehouses to customers' homes understand that barcode scanners have become an indispensable part of tracking, inventory management, and other key aspects of their business model. But barcode scanners are no longer just used to track retail products. They are also used in entertainment, education, healthcare, government services, and more. But barcode scanners are no longer just used to track retail products. Without scanners, businesses and organizations in numerous industries would lack the transparency, accountability, and systemization necessary to compete in a rapidly changing global economic ecosystem. So, do all barcode scanners scan in the same way?
Different types of scanning technology power the most common barcode scanners. Two of the most common methods for scanning one-dimensional barcodes (also known as traditional barcodes - the lines and spaces pattern you recognize on grocery items everywhere) may be laser scanning and linear imaging. Unsurprisingly, laser scanners use lasers to read barcodes from up to 3.5 feet away. These are typically used by grocery stores and other retailers. Linear imaging scanners essentially take a picture of the barcode to read it. These are most suitable for situations where barcode labels may be torn, damaged, or difficult to read with lasers. They are considered to be more durable barcode scanning options.
QR code scanners also use imaging to read 2D codes (the square, grid-like barcodes you see, often represented as QR codes). The difference is that 2D barcodes have richer information compared to 1D codes, and QR code scanners can capture this information faster and more accurately, making them the future of spatial information.
2D barcodes are becoming increasingly popular because they can hold thousands of characters and are omnidirectional. They can be used to carry images, website URLs, and other useful information, making them a self-contained information package. QR code scanners also have other benefits, including increased reading distance, OCR font support, digital image capture, mobile coupons, etc.