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In the world of retail there cannot be many more revolutionary products than the handheld barcode scanner. The beauty of this kind of scanner is it is so simple to use. Just point it on the barcode, press the trigger and also the job is done. And since it is worked by hand anyone using one of these brilliant pieces of equipment is less likely to make a mistake.

In fact handheld barcode scanners are attached to the computer by a cable. You can find handhelds which are connected up wirelessly. There's no cable restricting what lengths the scanner may be used from the computer; the only limit is the array of the wireless signal. They can be small enough to fit right into a pocket. The purists usually do not class these scanners as handheld, instead they will use the term "wireless barcode scanner." But these scanners do offer exactly the same ease of use as the handheld variety.

cash register - The handheld scanners that many people will be using will utilise one of two scanning technologies, the laser and the LED. Lasers continue to be the most popular, despite the introduction of LED scanning technology throughout the last few years.

With laser scanning technology the scanning unit includes a laser diode. The laser diode generates a dot which becomes the laser beam by being projected in to a vibrating mirror. The laser beam is then scanned along the barcode.

LED can be a newer type of scanning technology and the handheld barcode scanners incorporating it tend to be more durable. Also LED is a lot more versatile in the form of barcode it can read - it can be used to scan horizontal bar codes as well as the more typical vertical ones. The sensor then sees the reflected light as well as the data is converted into ASCII text.

point of sale system - One decision that anyone thinking about using a handheld unit inside their business is whether to stick with the conventional 1D type of scanner or the newer 2D units. The 2D scanners have become more popular as they offer more, especially obviously the ability to read the new 2D barcodes such as data matrix. These barcodes can take much more information than the 1D type can which obviously means they are attractive to use. However, the 2D handheld scanners do cost far more than the 1D units. Obviously if your business can manage with all the capacity restrictions from the 1D barcode then there is no real have to upgrade. Of course the converse can often happen and many more businesses are now turning to the higher specification units.