From Sticker Price Tags To Advanced Barcode Scanners

By: Anna Stenning

Before barcode scanners were made, retail and grocery shop owners went through the laborious process of counting each product and stock at the end of each month, recording their prices and would often need to make an estimated judgement on how much stock to order. The process was lengthy, causing the owners to calculate things inaccurately and often making a mistake in the number of orders they would make.

Barcode scanners were not introduced until the 1970s, after many prototypes were designed and built as a means of alleviating the frustration for shop owners in stocktaking and recording the price of each item. This was very often memorised, however, there were no secure methods of dealing with shoplifters or burglaries. These days' barcode scanners are the norm for most retail outlets, with further developments in producing wireless scanners.

Wireless scanners make it possible to read barcodes without having to be wired up and plugged. They work by sending information through a wireless connection to a reader that then displays the product information and price. The transfer of the information uses Bluetooth technology, making it possible to use it from over 150 feet away. This can come with a portable computer to read the data from and is a requirement for data collection.

These are useful for serving customers on the move, such as in restaurants and trains. These work by reading information about the product, which has already been collected and stored. With it comes the ability print out receipts without having to navigate back to the till or computer. These can also come with out of range alarms and is more reliable because they are cordless.

However, there is some confusion with wireless scanners as in that they can be mistaken for devices that are needed to read the data from a computer. In this instance, it is just a case of obtaining a longer cord for the wireless barcode scanner. There is separate software developed for these scanners, but are sometimes difficult to obtain. However, they are more practical in their uses and are good for updating inventory information.

Wireless scanners are a recent development that has made the process simpler, faster and more accurate in reading information. The disadvantages lie on their affordability, as they are still relatively new. Not all establishments are in need of a cordless scanner; however, they are useful for scanning products that are further away from the reader.

Normal barcode scanners are familiar to many people as they are often associated with supermarkets on checkout tills. These scanners use laser technology to read the information off from the barcode. Laser scanners are more common for large supermarkets and retail outlets. The laser scanners are good for long range scanning, which is not always necessary for all retail outlets.

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