BarCode Scanners Overview
There are four main technologies for barcode scanning. Below is a brief description of those technologies. 

Wands were the first tool designed to scan bar codes and are still used in many applications today. Wands are the lowest cost device available for scanning traditional bar codes, have the lowest power consumption of all types of scanners, and require contact with the label. Wands also require the most training and skill to successfully scan a barcode without damaging the label. When cost is an overriding concern, contact scanning is practical, only 1-D barcodes are used, and training is provided, wands make a good choice for scanning. 
Charge coupled devices (CCDs) are extremely durable scanners for near contact and contact applications. Fast and easy to use, CCD scanners are extremely rugged and offer a depth of field of up to 6 inches. CCD scanners support at least 13 linear bar code symbologies, as well as PDF417 and several other emerging 2-D symbologies, and are available in both contact and non-contact models. CCD scanners are ideal for the retail point-of-sale, commercial, industrial, and office automation environments. What's more, their exceptional durability combined with low power consumption make CCDs an excellent choice for portable data collection in warehouse, store floor and shop floor applications. 
Laser scanners are an excellent choice for applications requiring working distances beyond the range of CCD scanners. While not as durable as CCDs, lasers are very easy to use, offer excellent depth of field (long range versions can read up to 66 inches), and provide very fast reading performance. Further, laser scanners feature common product architecture that includes industry-leading decoding, data formatting, and connectivity technology. Laser scanners are ideally suited to applications in warehousing and distribution, as well as industrial/retail applications where the bar code labels cannot be brought close to the scanner. 
Recent advances in imaging technology have led to the development of the world's first high performance hand held linear imager. Linear imaging is defined by a bright and sharply focused aiming line, high resolution image capture, a longer working range, and extraordinary reading performance. Linear imagers are ideally suited to high volume scanning applications such as retail point of sale, inventory tracking, document management, transaction processing and vehicle registration tracking. 

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