Barcode Imagers

Recent advances in barcode imaging technology have allowed those devices to capture a greater share of product shipments as well as becoming the dominant recipient of  product development dollars.

Barcode imagers have been around for a long time. Compared with lasers, they have always offered the benefits of reliability (no moving parts) faster decode rates, lower energy consumption, the ability to read smaller barcodes and typically lower unit costs. Unlike lasers, they can also read barcodes displayed on a screen, like your workstation, EDA, iPhone or iPad. This capability has spawned an entire new wave of applications such as Electronic Airline Boarding Passes, Electronic Couponing and other customer loyalty applications.  2D barcodes, which typically require a 2D imager to be read, offer the the twin benefits of much higher data capacity along with robust error checking and correction. On the other hand, barcode imagers, particularly 2D imagers have historically been limited by how close they needed to be to the barcode to read (decode range).

Recent product introductions by manufacturers like Intermec and Motorola have now eliminated those restrictions. Current genre products like Intermec's SR61BEX and Motorola's DS3578 allow users to read barcodes from distances equal to or greater than those that  can be achieved with long range extended range laser scanners. And, being both all electronic and omni-directional make it easier for operators to capture data faster and with less physical effort than previously possible with laser based scanners.