- Advantages and Disadvantages of Handheld 2D Barcode Scanners
Advantages and Disadvantages of Handheld 2D Barcode Scanners
- By Neil T Jones
- Published 02/21/2010
Barcode scanners come in many different types and forms, some of the base models are quite cheap and perform well, but many different industries choose a wireless barcode scanner which allow your employees to have greater freedom and the Symbol LS4278 scanner allows for this.View all articles by Neil T Jones
The foremost advantage of using a 2D barcode scanner is its capability to read and decode 2D barcodes. Among the 2d barcodes currently in use, some are Data Matrix, Aztec, QR Code and Han Xin. It is possible to store a larger volume of data with 2D barcodes than with 1D barcodes, in the same or even less physical area. It is also possible for product manufacturers to squeeze in thousands of characters in a single 2D barcode. Moreover, 2D barcodes have the added capability of reading barcodes omni-directionally. Handheld 2D barcode scanners are characterized by an image sensor which is used to capture an image from a particular barcode. Following this, the image is run through a software decoder program installed inside the scanner's firmware. This software decoder program is capable of locating the barcode on the basis of a particular barcode's unique attributes, irrespective of its orientation.
This unique feature eliminates the need for changing the position of the scanner with the different positions of the barcodes. It is not necessary for the barcode scanner to ensure orientation with the barcode it is to read. This considerably reduces total reading time and user fatigue.
The technology that runs the image sensor is the same as that behind the modern digital camera. One major difference between the two, however, is that 2D barcode scanners deploy a greyscale imager as opposed to the color imager used in digital cameras. Owing to the fact that it is an imager, a lot of scanners are capable of clicking a picture and transmitting it to the connected computer. There are a lot of uses of this wonderful feature, including taking snapshots of signatures for delivery proof, damaged packages, recognizing forms and processing off
2D barcode scanners are the last word in reliability. A 2D barcode scanner possesses only a single moving part. That is the trigger switch.
Trigger switches used by scanners are rated at as many as millions of activations. Failure for this to function is very rare. This translates to a potential for zero down time for customers. This leads in turn to improved efficiencies, reduced level of frustration and decreased cost of ownership. This is not an all-exhaustive list of advantages offered by 2D barcode scanners vs. 1D barcode scanners. There are other advantages. However, 2D barcode scanners are not exactly without disadvantages. Though the pros clearly outweigh the cons, the user must be educated about the disadvantages while making a purchase decision.
The first disadvantage of 2D barcode scanners is their price. These scanners deploy the latest technology and are continuously being modified according to modern technology. Image sensors with increased number of pixels are being installed, decoding of algorithms at a higher speed is being made possible, illumination and aiming patterns are being modified and improved upon. As a huge amount of investment goes into the 2D barcode scanners, their prices are a bit higher than 1d barcode scanners. However, with time, the gap between the prices of the two types of scanners is decreasing. The prices of all scanners are such that they are considered to be commodities.
Another drawback of 2D barcode scanners is their working range. ‘Working range' means the point farthest from which a scanner can read a barcode minus the closest point from which the scanner can read a barcode. For example, if a scanner can read a UPC, a barcode, from the closest distance of 2 inches, and it can read the barcode at the farthest distance of 10 inches. Then the working range of this particular scanner would then be; 10 in – 2 in = 8 in. On the other hand, a 1d barcode scanner would be capable of reading the same barcode from the farthest distance of 18 inches and the closest distance of 1 inch. The decreased working range of a 2d barcode scanner might prove to be a hindrance in certain applications.
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Barcode scanners come in many different types and forms, some of the base models are quite cheap and perform well, but many different industries choose a wireless barcode scanner which allow your employees to have greater freedom and the Symbol LS4278 scanner allows for this.