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Barcode reader

A handheld barcode scanner

A stationary barcode scanner for a conveyor line A barcode reader (or barcode scanner) is an electronic device for reading printed barcodes. Like a flatbed scanner, it consists of a light source, a lens and a light sensor translating optical impulses into electrical ones. Additionally, nearly all barcode readers contain decoder circuitry analyzing the barcode's image data provided by the sensor and sending the barcode's content to the scanner's output port. Technology Barcode readers can be differentiated by technology as follo s! Pen-type readers "en#type readers consist of a light source and photodiode that are placed ne$t to each other in the tip of a pen or and. %o read a bar code, the person holding the pen must move the tip of it across the bars at a relatively uniform speed. %he photodiode measures the intensity of the light reflected back from the light source as the tip crosses each bar and space in the printed code. %he photodiode generates a aveform that is used to measure the idths of the bars and spaces in the bar code. &ark bars in the bar code absorb light and hite spaces reflect light so that the voltage aveform generated by the photo diode is a representation of the bar and space pattern in the bar code. %his aveform is decoded by the scanner in a manner similar to the ay 'orse code dots and dashes are decoded. Laser scanners Laser scanners ork the same ay as pen type readers e$cept that they use a laser beam as the light source and typically employ either a reciprocating mirror or a rotating prism to scan the laser beam back and forth across the bar

code. As ith the pen type reader, a photodiode is used to measure the intensity of the light reflected back from the bar code. (n both pen readers and laser scanners, the light emitted by the reader is rapidly varied in brightness ith a data pattern and the photodiode receive circuitry is designed to detect only signals ith the same modulatedpattern. CCD readers ))& readers use an array of hundreds of tiny light sensors lined up in a ro in the head of the reader. *ach sensor measures the intensity of the light immediately in front of it. *ach individual light sensor in the ))& reader is e$tremely small and because there are hundreds of sensors lined up in a ro , a voltage pattern identical to the pattern in a bar code is generated in the reader by se+uentially measuring the voltages across each sensor in the ro . %he important difference bet een a ))& reader and a pen or laser scanner is that the ))& reader is measuring emitted ambient light from the bar code hereas pen or laser scanners are measuring reflected light of a specific fre+uency originating from the scanner itself. Camera-based readers % o#dimensional imaging scanners are the fourth and ne est type of bar code reader. %hey use a camera and image processing techni+ues to decode the bar code. Video camera readers use small video cameras ith the same ))& technology as in a ))& bar code reader e$cept that instead of having a single ro of sensors, a video camera has hundreds of ro s of sensors arranged in a t o dimensional array so that they can generate an image. Large field-of-view readers use high resolution industrial cameras to capture multiple bar codes simultaneously. All the bar codes appearing in the photo are decoded instantly ((mage(& patents and code creation tools) or by use of plugins (e.g. the Barcodepedia uses a flash application and some eb cam for +uerying a database), have been realized options for resolving the given tasks. Omni-directional barcode scanners ,mni#directional scanning uses -series of straight or curved scanning lines of varying directions in the form of a starburst, a lissa.ous pattern, or other multiangle arrangement are pro.ected at the symbol and one or more of them ill be able to cross all of the symbol's bars and spaces, no matter hat the orientation.-/01 ,mni#directional scanners almost all use a laser. 2nlike the simpler single#line laser scanners, they produce a pattern of beams in varying orientations allo ing them to read barcodes presented to it at different angles. 'ost of them use a single rotating polygonal mirror and an arrangement of several fi$ed mirrors to generate their comple$ scan patterns. ,mni#directional scanners are most familiar through the horizontal scanners in supermarkets, here packages are slid over a glass or sapphire indo . %here are a range of different omni#directional units available hich can be used for differing scanning applications, ranging from retail type applications ith the barcodes read only a fe centimetres a ay from the scanner to industrial

conveyor scanning here the unit can be a couple of metres a ay or more from the code. ,mni#directional scanners are also better at reading poorly printed, rinkled, or even torn barcodes. Cell phone cameras 3hile cell phone cameras ithout auto#focus are not ideal for reading some common barcode formats, there are 4& barcodes hich are optimized for cell phones, as ell as 56 )odes and &ata 'atri$ codes hich can be read +uickly and accurately ith or ithout auto#focus. %hese open up a number of applications for consumers!

'ovies! &7&879: movie catalogs 'usic! )& catalogs, play '"; Book catalogs and device. <roceries, nutrition information, making shopping lists item is used, etc. hen the last of an hen scanned

"ersonal "roperty inventory (for insurance and other purposes)ode scanned into personal finance soft are hen entering. Later, scanned receipt images can then be automatically associated ith the appropriate entries. Later, the bar codes can be used to rapidly eed out paper copies not re+uired to be retained for ta$ or asset inventory purposes. (f retailers put barcodes on receipts that allo ed do nloading an electronic copy or encoded the entire receipt in a 4& barcode, consumers could easily import data into personal finance, property inventory, and grocery management soft are. 6eceipts scanned on a scanner could be automatically identified and associated ith the appropriate entries in finance ad property inventory soft are. )onsumer tracking from the retailer perspective (for e$ample, loyalty card programs that track consumers purchases at the point of sale by having them scan a 56 code).

A number of enterprise applications using cell phones are appearing!

Access control (for e$ample, ticket validation at venues), inventory reporting (for e$ample, tracking deliveries), asset tracking (for e$ample, anti#counterfeiting)./41

Smartphones :martphones can be used in <oogle's mobile Android operating system via both their o n <oogle <oggles application or ;rd party barcode scanners like :can. /;1 =okia's :ymbian operating system features a barcode scanner hich can scan barcodes,/>1 hile mbarcode/?1 is a barcode reader for the 'aemo operating system. (n the Apple i,:, a barcode reader is not automatically included, but there are more than fifty free or paid apps available ith both scanning capabilities and hard#linking to 26(. 3ith BlackBerry devices, the App 3orld application can natively scan barcodes. 3indo s "hone @.? is able to scan barcodes through the Bing search app.

Ho sing Barcode readers can be distinguished based on housing design as follo s! Handheld scanner ith a handle and typically a trigger button for s itching on the light source. Pen scanner !or wand scanner" a pen#shaped scanner that is s iped. Stationary scanner all# or table#mounted scanners that the barcode is passed under or beside. %hese are commonly found at the checkout counters of supermarkets and other retailers. #i$ed-position scanner an industrial barcode reader used to identify products during manufacture or logistics. ,ften used on conveyor tracks to identify cartons or pallets hich need to be routed to another process or shipping location. Another application .oins holographic scanners ith a check eigher to read bar codes of any orientation or placement, and eighs the package. :ystems like this are used in factory and farm automation for +uality management and shipping. PD% scanner !or % to-&D PD%" a "&A ith a built#in barcode reader or attached barcode scanner.

% tomatic reader a back office e+uipment to read barcoded documents at high speed (?A,AAA8hour). Cordless scanner !or 'ireless scanner" a cordless barcode scanner is operated by a battery fitted inside it and is not connected to the electricity mains and transfer data to the connected device like "). =e algorithms for barcode decoding

Symbology Decoding %lgorithm %he :ymbology &ecoding Algorithm for barcode scanners is the first symbology# based algorithm for decoding. %he ne techni+ue utilizes information from the entire image to detect transitions in the signal, hereas the traditional algorithm relies on the ma$ima and minima. %raditional methods are prone to errors because the method relies on a derivativeB they are also sensitive to noise and blurring. %he :ymbology &ecoding Algorithm for Bar )ode :canners e$hibited high resilience to blur and noise hen tested on 0& 2niversal "roduct )odes. %he algorithm can also be e$tended for use on 4& 2niversal "roduct )odes. /C1 'ethods of connection (arly serial interfaces

*arly barcode scanners, of all formats, almost universally used the then# common 6:#4;4 serial interface. %his as an electrically simple means of connection and the soft are to access it is also relatively simple, although needing to be ritten for specific computers and their serial ports. Proprietary interfaces %here are a fe other less common interfaces. %hese ere used in large *",: systems ith dedicated hard are, rather than attaching to e$isting commodity computers. (n some of these interfaces, the scanning device returned a -ra - signal proportional to the intensities seen hile scanning the barcode. %his as then decoded by the host device. (n some cases the scanning device ould convert the symbology of the barcode to one that could be recognized by the host device, such as )ode ;D. )eyboard wedges

":84 keyboard and mouse ports 3ith the popularity of the ") and its standard keyboard interface, it became ever easier to connect physical hard are to a ") and so there as commercial demand similarly to reduce the comple$ity of the associated soft are. -Eeyboard edge- hard are plugged bet een the ") and its normal keyboard, ith characters from the barcode scanner appearing e$actly as if they had been typed at the keyboard. %his made the addition of simple barcode reading abilities to e$isting programs very easy, ithout any need to change them, although it did re+uire some care by the user and could be restrictive in the content of the barcodes that could be handled. *S+ Later barcode readers began to use 2:B connectors rather than the keyboard port, as this became a more convenient hard are option. %o retain the easy integration ith e$isting programs, a device driver called a -soft are edgecould be used, to emulate the keyboard#impersonating behavior of the old -keyboard edge- hard are. (n many cases, a choice of 2:B interface types (9(&, )&)) are provided. :ome have "o ered2:B. 'ireless networ,ing :ome modern handheld barcode readers can be operated in ireless net orks according to (*** FA4.00g (3LA=) or (*** FA4.0?.0 (Bluetooth). 6eaders ithout e$ternal po er sources re+uire their batteries be recharged occasionally, hich may make them unsuitable for some uses. 6esolution

%he scanner resolution is measured by the size of the dot of light emitted by the reader. (f this dot of light is ider than any bar or space in the bar code, then it ill overlap t o elements (t o spaces or t o bars) and it may produce rong output. ,n the other hand, if a too small dot of light is used, then it can misinterpret any spot on the bar code making the final output rong. %he most commonly used dimension is 0; %hou (A.;; mm), although some scanners can read codes ith dimensions as small as ; %hou (A.A@? mm). :maller bar codes must be printed at high resolution to be read accurately.