computer hardware, consumer electronics, electronic components  

Barcode reader

Bar codes are in widespread use as a means carrying information on management of articles in marketing, distribution, and production processes. A bar code containing encoded information is placed on the object. The bar code may be read by use of a bar code reader or scanner which uses an optical method to read the bar code. Barcode reading systems employ a finely focused light beam scanned across a coded label located in the field of view of a photodetector. The bar code reader illuminates the symbol and senses light reflected from the regions of differing light reflectivity to detect the relative widths and spacings of the regions and derive the encoded information. The label represents information encoded as a series of bars of various widths formed on a contrasting background. The difference in reflectance of the bars versus the spaces produces a modulated optical signal. The optical signal is converted to an electrical signal by a photodetector. This electrical signal is further processed and digitized before decoding. Bar code readers improve the efficiency and accuracy of data input for a wide variety of applications. The ease of data input in such systems facilitates more frequent and detailed data input, for example, to provide efficient inventories, tracking of work in progress, etc. A bar code reader for reading the bar code on the goods is roughly classified into a fixed type reader and a handheld reader. The fixed type bar code reader thereof is provided with a mechanism for scanning the bar code in a multiplicity of directions by irradiating the bar code with light beams for reading so that an operator is capable of reading the bar code without being so aware of a bar code direction. A handheld scanner and a pen-input scanner are designed to scan a bar code directly by an operator or a stationary scanner designed to sweep a plurality of light beams in different directions to read a bar code through at least one of the light beams scanning the bar code correctly. In general, a bar code reader includes an optical system like a laser reader, an image sensor such as a charged coupled device (CCD) camera etc. The bar code reader receives light that is reflected from the bar code label, determines a pattern of the white bars and the black bars in the bar code from the optical power of the light reflected, and then decodes this pattern to obtain character data that is a pattern of numerals and characters.

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