Barcode labels are read by different types of barcode scanners. Different types of barcode scanners exist such as pen-type, fixed position scanners, and stationary scanners. Let us now know about pen-type barcode scanner.
The simplest and least expensive barcode scanner is a pen-type barcode scanner. It is also known as wand barcode scanner. The design of this scanner is so simple and has no moving parts. The scanner has high durability and portability. The shape of this scanner resemble a ball point pen.
The wand has to be dragged across the barcode label in a steady motion. The intensity of light that gets reflected back is measured by the photodiode. A waveform is generated which is used for measuring the widths of bars and spaces in the code. More light is absorbed by the dark portions and more light is reflected by white spaces. Hence the voltage is generated as a waveform. Then the data is read onto a computer system. The reflected light from the scanner can be taken off the UPS code. The data is then decoded by POS system and the product is recognized.
One note to be taken care of is that the scanner must be held at a specific angle relative to the barcode. Also it must be slide across the code at specific speed. The most important advantage of this type is its lightweight and slim design. Many users feel it easy to handle and use. Hence it has applications in various fields.
However, it has certain disadvantages. The scanner must come in contact with the barcode that has to be read. This is a limitation as some scanners like laser and CCD scanners can read the data of the code from a distance. Sometimes two or more trials have to be done in order to get the accurate reading. As a result the wand may get smeared and damaged.