Photonics Dictionary

optical barcode reader

An optical barcode reader, commonly known as a barcode scanner, is a device that uses optical technology to capture and interpret data encoded in barcode symbols. Barcodes are typically printed on labels or directly on products, and they consist of a series of parallel lines, dots, or other patterns that represent information about the item.

The optical barcode reader uses a light source, such as a laser or LED, to illuminate the barcode. The reflected light is then detected by a sensor, and the pattern of light and dark regions is converted into electrical signals. These signals are then decoded by the barcode reader to retrieve the encoded information.

There are various types of barcode readers, including handheld scanners, stationary scanners, and embedded scanners in mobile devices. They are widely used in retail, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, and many other industries to quickly and accurately input data, track inventory, and facilitate efficient operations. The use of barcode readers has become integral to automated systems for inventory management, point-of-sale transactions, and supply chain optimization.
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