What is a bar code scanner?


Quick Answer

A bar code scanner is a device that reads information from bar codes. Bar code scanners are made up of three primary parts: a light-emitting element, a light sensor and a bar code decoder.

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What is a bar code scanner?
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Full Answer

Bar code scanners operate by illuminating a bar code and then reading the reflected light from that code using a specialized sensor. The light information obtained by the sensor is then converted into a text string by the decoder system that can be used in combination with an inventory, shipping and tracking, or identification system to produce data intelligible by humans.

Bar code scanners come in a variety of form factors, including pen and gun shapes. Bar code reader software is available for smartphones, allowing users to extract data from bar codes using a device's camera.

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