Everyday we interact with items that were invented with the purpose of making our lives easier. Computers, Smart Phones, and cars are some of the first that come to mind. However, there are many other inventions that we encounter that we don’t even consider how they have impacted our lives. Everywhere you purchase a product with a barcode label, a barcode reader of some type is utilized to gather the information contained on the barcode label. Have you ever taken the time to think of what a barcode scanner is? How does it work? Or why it was invented in the first place? We will cover all of this and provide tips as to how to choose the right barcode scanner for your business.
First, to learn about the history of barcode scanners, we will look at what a barcode reader is by definition.
A barcode reader (or barcode scanner) is an optical scanner that can read printed barcodes, decode the data contained in the barcode and send the data to a computer. It consists of a light source, a lens and a light sensor translating for optical impulses into electrical signals. Additionally, nearly all barcode readers contain decoder circuitry that can analyze the barcode’s image data provided by the sensor and sending the barcode’s content to the scanner’s output port.
The first barcode scanner is a lot like the first can opener. How you may ask? Can openers came around nearly FIFTY years after the first widely available canned food product. The first barcode label ever invented was the “Bulls-Eye Code.” Invented in 1949 by Norman Joseph Woodland, it wouldn’t be until 1971 that the technology would start to catch on. If you want to learn more about the first barcode label itself, we suggest reading this article from Smithsonian. When was the barcode scanner invented? Depending on how you view it, the barcode scanner could have been invented in 1960s as railroads had adapted the technology. However, it could also be viewed as something having been invented in the 1970s. The 1970s is the start of barcodes as we know them.
“The first scanning of the now-ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode was on a pack of Wrigley Company chewing gum in June 1974 at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio, using scanner produced by Photographic Sciences Corporation.”
Barcoding technology used to be really, really expensive, and now it has downgraded to just really expensive. However, these expenses are quickly offset by the ROI (Return on Investment). Barcode Scanning systems have helped improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and improves accuracy.
Choosing the right barcode scanner has the potential to boost your companies productivity, and also reduce inaccuracies. The main goal of barcode scanners is to help boost your ROI. Currently there are a variety of barcoding companies on the market, and it can be cumbersome for some to navigate all the offerings. Barcode Resourcing has been repairing, selling, and refurbishing a variety of barcoding equipment for over 25 years! Our goal is to help you save money on your investments in your barcoding equipment. Along with a variety of companies to choose from, navigating the many options from each one can make it hard to know if you are choosing the right one. With technology continually evolving and barcodes themselves changing, knowing what you need is only getting more difficult.
Types of Barcode Readers:
Our experience can help you navigate what type of barcode scanner fulfills your needs the best, and while trying to save you money. Saving you time on research and the hassle of knowing whether it will be compatible with your current configurations and business goals. Investing in new barcoding equipment can be a huge investment for many companies, and buying new equipment isn’t always necessary. Purchasing your barcoding equipment refurbished, or if you only need them for a short-term period, renting the equipment may be the most beneficial for your company.
Barcode Scanning gear is used across a variety of industries, after initially being utilized by railroads and groceries. Extrapolating out the beginning, and the uses for barcoding systems aren’t all that different from where they began. Adding in medical applications, barcode systems are utilized in a multitude of industries. warehouses, cold storage, logistics, retail, and many more. As with all industries, there are large multi-national corporations, and smaller companies who want to operate in a niche or specialize in some other aspect of their industry. These smaller operations may not have it in their budget to have brand new top of the line gear year after year. For these companies, purchasing new may not be a viable option.
Smaller companies purchasing refurbished barcoding equipment, or renting the equipment for busy seasons may be the best option. Conversely, everyone likes saving money and even large companies may not want to continuously invest in new barcoding equipment. Quality refurbished barcode scanners can help save money on newer barcoding equipment. Alleviate some worries about purchasing refurbished barcoding equipment, ensure that they are covered by a warranty. Warranties show a company stands behind their work. Another option that can be advantageous for companies that experience busy seasons, is rental equipment. Renting equipment reduces the cost of purchasing equipment that may not be utilized for large portions of the year.