Guest Column | September 2, 2014

Not All Bar Code Scanners Are Created Equal: What Makes Them Different?

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By Mike Poldino, Vice President of Data Capture Solutions, Motorola Solutions

Motorola Symbol LS3578-FZ Rugged, Cordless Scanner With Integrated Bluetooth

Most of today’s bar code scanners do a very respectable job scanning good quality bar codes.  However, when selecting a bar code scanner, one size does not fit all.  Today’s bar code scanners are highly specialized and designed to go beyond the traditional paper-based bar code. They are designed to match specific environments and are packed with features that increase productivity and streamline operations. As such it can sometimes be difficult to choose between the various scanners available. Below are some of the key features to consider when selecting a bar code scanner for your customer.

1D Or 2D Bar Codes — Printed Or Electronic

The first step in selecting the right bar code scanner is to understand the type of bar code your customer needs to read and how it will be presented to the scanner. Is the bar code a standard 1D bar code printed on a label or a hangtag or is it a mobile coupon presented on the screen of a mobile device?  Is the bar code a very small, high-density 2D bar code printed on a curved reflective surface? If the bar code is a simple printed 1D bar code and the customer has no future need to read any other type of bar code, a 1D laser or linear imager will likely suffice. But, if there is a need to read mobile or high density bar codes or a 2D bar code of any type, a 2D array imager is required.

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