Data Capture Solutions can help you find a barcode scanner for use on any barcode symbology in any environment, including retail environments, warehouse environments, hospital environments, hospitality or hotel environments, grocery store environments, hazardous location environments, and more.
Barcode scanners come in 4 basic varieties: laser, CCD, linear imager, and area imager.
Laser scanners project a laser beam against the barcode symbology which is reflected back to the scanner for decoding. Traditionally laser barcode scanners were considered the fastest, but that is no longer the case as many CCD / linear imager barcode scanners have scanning speeds equivalent to, or in some cases, even exceeding the speed of the laser scanners. Laser scanners can generally only decode 1D symbologies, but some have additional capabilities to decode select stacked or 2D symbologies, typically PDF417 or other stacked codes.
CCD & Linear Imager Scanners
There is some confusion as to the difference between CCD scanner and linear imager scanner technologies. These technologies essentially use a camera to take a “sliced picture” of the barcode and decode it. Some manufacturers use the term CCD to indicate a special variety, or to indicate that its somehow faster or better than a linear imager.
For the purposes of the data presented on the Data Capture Solutions website, we typically use the term “CCD” to indicate that a device can only decode via short or contact range. We use the term “linear imager” to indicate the the camera decoding device has ranges that are comparabile to those found in laser scanners.
Area imagers (or array imagers) are more robust than linear imagers and have the native (or expanded) capability to decode 2D symbologies. Often these also have wider reading capabilities, and some are comparable to laser scanners with omnidirectional capabilities. 2D imagers tend to be a bit slower than 1D imagers, but with improvements in technologies, the array or area imagers are closing the gap in performance speeds.
Additionally there are imagers that can read Direct Part Marking (DPM), which may require special certification and DL imagers which can scan driver's licenses.
For details about the specific symbologies which a particular barcode scanner can decode, please reference the data sheets (PDFs) available, which will often list the scanner model’s decoding capabilities.