How laser scanners work

How does a barcode scanner work? Like the ones found on the identiscan unit.


The parts and theire uses:

A barcode scanner is made up of 3 parts: The illuminator, the sensor/convertor and the decoder. So when a barcode is brought forward to be scanned there are 3 things that take place.


  1. The barcode scanner illuminates the barcode with a bright red laser, as I’m sure you have seen.
  2. The sensor/converter detects the reflected light and once the light is detected, an analogue signal is generated. The signal contains varying voltage based on the intensities of the light reflected from the barcode. 
  3. The analogue signal is converted by the sensor into a digital signal and then is interpreted by the decoder, which sends the information to the computer attached to the scanner. 


The computer, in this case, it is the identiscan unit itself. But you can get apps on your smartphone which will do the same, except they don’t need a bright red light, then just used the camera on your phone to pick up the darker spots on the barcode. However, the downside to using a camera is that doesn’t work in the dark very well with barcodes, so a proper barcode scanner is needed.

What else?

Scanners else days the ones on your phone especially are being used more and more often by companies like Snapchat, to scan barcodes to get special filters and while doing so you are marketing there product for them.


By | 2020-02-03T11:35:32+00:00 February 3rd, 2020|Uncategorized|