Laser Barcode Scanners
Laser barcode scanners work in a way that is very similar to pen and wand scanners. The primary difference between the two is that a laser scanner uses a laser beam to read the barcode rather than another kind of light. Inside the laser scanner are small mirrors that reflect the light from the laser back and forth across the surface of the target, which allows for continuous scanning of the barcode. Laser scanners are by far the most popular kind of barcode scanner because of their versatility. Unlike pen and wand scanners, laser barcode readers do not need to touch the barcode to read it. Instead, they can work at a distance ranging from as close as six inches to as much as two feet. Some industrial models can scan barcodes from as far as 30 feet away. This makes laser barcode scanners suitable for scanning heavy or irregularly shaped objects.
Laser barcode scanners are also efficient choices for scanning objects that have long barcodes that would be impractical to measure with a pen scanner such as barcodes that have been scaled to fit the side of a large box. One feature that has been developed in recent years is motion tolerance. Motion tolerance refers to the ability of a laser scanner to continuously scan different bar codes without having to lift the trigger of the laser scanning gun. This allows users to scan large quantities of items very quickly.
Read damaged barcodes
Laser barcode scanners also have the ability to read damaged barcodes. Because laser scanners continuously scan the code from end to end, it can start reading the code, skip over parts that are missing, and continue reading what remains. Software in the computer system to which the scanner is connected can extrapolate the missing barcode information and still provide accurate data recall.
Portablility and portable scanners
Laser barcode scanners can be connected to a computer or cash register directly, although portable units are available. Portable units with power packs allow users freedom of movement and to scan bar codes that are in locations that are difficult to reach. Both kinds of scanners are available in wired and wireless options, providing maximum portability and functionality. In comparison to pen scanners, laser scanners are much more expensive, although the benefits gained often outweigh the extra costs.