A barcode reader is a handheld device that is used to obtain data contained in a bar code. The uses of barcode readers have increased tremendously over recent years. It consists of 3 major parts that help it to function properly. The first part is a scanner that captures information from a barcode. Another part is a decoder which can be either built in or external. Lastly, a cable to connect the scanner with a computer. These scanners function by directing a beam of light across on the barcode and the light reflected back is measured. However, there has been a huge revolution since the emergence of wireless scanners and smartphones.
Smartphones have the capability to scan QR codes via a camera. Other scanners do not have the capability to translate the barcode or letters hence the data captured is sent directly into a computer. A software application the computer translates the data and displays it on the screen. Further, can be connected through a keyboard port, a serial port or an interface device known as the wedge. Wireless scanners do not need to be connected to anything unless they require to be charged. Smartphones have inbuilt applications that help in decoding and translating the information hence does not need to be connected.
Profitable uses of barcode reader
1. Fast checkouts
A barcode reader improves the shopping experience in shops or malls. Processing of information such as price is easy compared to the traditional method of looking items up in a catalog. The barcode reader captures data which is calculated by the computer in milliseconds. Without these devices, we would have very long queues in the supermarkets today. Cashiers job is easy as they don’t have to type anything in the computer since the barcode reader feeds the information automatically.
2. Processing mobile payments
Most mobile companies have started taking advantage of barcode readers. Their applications have contained a barcode reader that works with the help of a camera to read payment barcodes. In addition, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins have systems that allow users to pay for items through a barcode reader. It has increased the speed at which a transaction is processed.
3. Business tracking
Businesses use barcode readers to protect their property from being stolen. Valuable property such as electronics and furniture are installed with secret barcodes. Advanced barcode readers trigger alarm systems when these items get off the compound or gate. It helps to catch thieves or prevent employees from stealing. In addition, a business can also use these advanced scanners to track the number of times employees have been working hence reducing time wastage.
4. Library management
Barcode readers are very important in library management. It is one of the most important items for protecting books from being stolen. All books are fixed with unique barcodes that store their title type and other information. Librarians scan the codes using their readers to fasten the process of distributing book copies. These scanners also help the librarians to know the exact number of books missing or available
5. Inventory control and management
Barcode scanners are very useful in tracking the flow of goods from the manufacturers to the warehouses and so on. All the goods are waxed with the barcodes to act as unique identifiers. Further, managers are able to monitor the flow of goods from their offices. When the goods arrive at their destinations the barcode scanners send information directly to their computers. Inventory management is very important to companies because it helps them to make profits.
6. Ticket verification
Tickets can are barcoded to help minimize fraud and long queues. Barcode readers are used to verifying the tickets provided. It is a fast, secure and easy way to manage tickets. It is applied in various places such as stadiums, live shows, and airports. Before the arrival of these scanners, the process used below and it involved a lot of employees.
7. Tracking food intake
Apps have been created by the use of barcode reader technology to track the food that you eat. These apps help you to maintain your health by suggesting foods or vitamins that you have not taken for a long period. They also warn you when you consume specific foods extensively. This is one of the best uses of a barcode reader in your body.
8. Gaming industry
Barcode readers are used in gaming especially in multiplayer mode. Other gaming consoles have inbuilt sensors and barcode scanners to allow the player to play using pads or joysticks. Gaming devices such as Xbox and PlayStation can be protected from being stolen using barcode technology. Other games are played by scanning items, for instance, the barcode beasties generate monsters each time you scan an item with your smartphone.
9. Error optimization
Handwriting gives room for errors in an organization. Barcode readers have reduced human error hence contributing to profits or money-saving by institutions. It is averaged that for every one thousand words, there are about ten errors made by people. Contrary, for every ten thousand barcode scans there is an average of one error.
10. Theft deterrence and Liability redundancy
Barcode readers are used to reducing liability and secure tracking of items. Companies reduce liability by producing the exact amount of products. It helps organizations to reduce theft from outsiders and employees.
11. Secure communication
Barcode readers allow secure file sharing and communication between two and a group of people. Modern apps such as flashare provide fast file sharing between two devices. To prevent hackers or third parties from sneaking in the communication channel barcodes are used.
Biometrics have inbuilt barcode readers that scan employer ids. It records every the exact time that an employee turns up or leave the workplace. Managers use it to pay for exact hours that an employee has worked efficiently. Biometrics are also used in school to monitor class attendance by both lecturers and students. The inbuilt barcode reader uses a beam of light to capture the code on an id card. Further, the data is sent to a computer wirelessly or using an Ethernet cable