Barcode Scanners

Handheld Barcode Scanners

Handheld barcode scanners are used throughout commerce, enabling workers to scan retail, logistics, manufacturing, warehouse, supermarket, clothing, asset management, and other barcodes. For example, you’re likely familiar with cashiers scanning UPC codes on products at the checkout line with either fixed or handheld barcode scanners or delivery drivers scanning the barcode on packages using a wireless handheld barcode scanner. There are many potential use cases for scanners including but not limited to:

  • Managing inventory
  • Tracking packages
  • Tracking raw materials, parts, and finished goods
  • Asset management
  • Library book management
  • Retail applications
  • Tracking lab specimens
  • Airline boarding passes
  • Movie tickets

Type of Barcodes

There are many barcode formats used for commercial and industrial applications. Barcodes can be described as being either one or two dimensional (1D or 2D).

1D barcodes are one dimensional and use lines of varying widths and spacing to represent data. Examples of 1D barcodes include:

  • UPC barcodes
  • EAN barcodes
  • ISBN barcodes
  • Code 39 barcodes
  • Code 128
  • Codabar
  • MSI/Plessey
  • GS1 DataBar
  • Postnet

2D barcodes are two dimensional and use two dimensional symbols and shapes to represent data. They are able to store much more data than 1D barcodes in a smaller size, making 2D barcode formats ideal for labeling small parts and components. PDF codes, for example, can consist of up to 600 characters while Code 39, a 1D barcode, is limited to about 20 to 23 characters. 2D barcodes also tend to have a high fault tolerance and fast readability, even if they are printed in low resolution. Examples of 2D barcodes include:

  • QR codes — Commonly used for marketing purposes
  • Datamatrix codes — Commonly used on small electronic components, fruits and vegetables, and other small items
  • PDF417 codes — Commonly used to store photos, signatures, and fingerprints
  • Aztec codes — Commonly used for transportation such as ticketing and boarding passes

Optimedia Labs sells both 1D and 2D handheld barcode scanners, cradles, and stands. Check out our selection below.