Evolution of the Barcode Scanners

A barcode scanner is an electronic machine used to read the printed barcodes. A group of Harvard students developed a system based on cards with punch holes in them. The modern day barcode technology is a result of research made by Bernard Silver and Norman Woodland in 1948 for which they received a patent.

The first bar code had only four lines with black lines on a white background. Later, a system of concentric circles was introduced, but it is failed and the standard became the lines. The bar code patent was sold to RCA in 1952. National Cash Register (NCR) made use of the UPC scanners first in a Kroger grocery store in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1967. The codes were not on the packages themselves, but were printed on stickers that the store employees put on each product. The product that is scanned first is Wrigley’s Gum. In North America the two popular systems are UPC (Universal Product Code) system established in 1973 and ISBN. ISBN codes are used for books and textbooks, and they also contain figures that distinguish the product. UPC codes are employed for most other products sold in the United States and Canada.

In the modern world there are different types of technologies used in the scanners to read the barcodes like Pen type readers, Laser scanners, CCD readers, Camera based readers, Omni directional barcode scanners, Cell phone cameras etc. At present barcodes are available in two types one is linear and the other is 2 Dimensional.

A barcode system is incomplete without barcode scanners. Due to the awareness of benefits of barcode technology, the usage of barcode scanners has increased to a large extent, thereby increasing its demand in the market.

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