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The Evolution Of Barcode Scanner

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By Author: Vishal jain
Total Articles: 12
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From the first barcode scanner to the evolved smartphone and mobile barcode scanners today, barcode scanners have come a long way since its inception. Barcodes have been around since the 1940s and at that time, they were vastly popular in the grocery industry, in fact they were developed specifically for the grocery industry only. While this make do barcode was in the late 1940s, the first universal product code (UPC) was scanned in the year 1974 at a grocery store.

In the early 1960s, American railways took up a chance to experiment with a system that used colored strips on the railcars to encode a 10-digit number that was decoded by an arrangement of colored lights and intensity-detecting sensors. However, this system did not flare as planned and became a commercial failure. But from there, the scanner was redeveloped into one whose light is used to decode the black and white barcode. The easily moved laser would pass over the code repeatedly while decoding, hence the coining of the term “barcode scanner”.

The time of the dominance of laser scanners
The barcode scanner has three essential parts: a ...
... light source, a sensor that detects the variations in the light reflected from the barcode, and a decoder that converts those variations into data that are used by a point-of-sale system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

On one hand, it was understood that barcodes could contain more data. But on the other hand, it was restricted to scanning only one-dimensional data which were linear arrangements of thick and thin black lines. One-dimensional barcodes generally have narrow and wide lines instead of dots and dashes and are read by laser scanners. Laser scanners are either stationary or handheld and are still widely used.

However, by the 1970s, the scanners evolved too. The fixed raster scanners came into play as they started using lasers and a combination of mirrors to create 2D patterns that could read 1D barcodes from any angle. These are still common in grocery store checkouts.

The introduction of CCDs and 2D codes
Moving onto the 1990s, charge-coupled device (CCD) scanners were introduced that used a single row of photocells on a chip to function as a 1D camera. They were set at a lower price than the laser scanners and were considered as competition at the time. However, this technology became more significant by the 2000s when cheaper and more capable chips allowed for two-dimensional (2D) arrays, and thus the ability to read 2D codes. By that time the 2D codes came in and created a storm as they could hold a much larger amount of information in a smaller area than the 1D barcodes. But the only restriction posed at the time was that the 2D fixed raster scanners could only read limited types of 2D codes.

You can find many good quality mobile barcode scanners in Mumbai at the places that deal in solutions. You can also find asset tracking systems in Mumbai in such places. The bottomline is even after all the evolutions that have happened over the years, technology will keep evolving and advancing to make human life easier.

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