A barcode scanner, or barcode reader, is a device with lights, lenses, and a sensor that decodes and captures the information contained in barcodes. In the early days of 1D codes, codes could only be read by lasers. Laser scanners use a laser beam as a light source and typically employ oscillating mirrors or rotating prisms to scan the laser beam back and forth across the barcode. A photodiode then measures the reflected light from the barcode. An analog signal is created from the photodiode, and is then converted into a digital signal.


Laser Scanner Benefits

Despite being an older technology, laser scanners still offer some operational benefits. Laser scanners do not require an image processor. They are also fast, capable of conducting up to 1,300 scans per second. Finally, because they use lasers—collimated beams of light that essentially do not diverge no matter how far the light travels from the source—they can read 1D barcodes from relatively long distances with the use of special optics.