The data of the barcode is read by barcode readers or barcode scanners. The barcode scanner has a light source, a lens and the light sensor. The sensor is used for converting the optical impulses to electric ones. All the scanners consists of a decoder for determining the data provided by the sensor and for sending the barcode’s data to the output port of the scanner.

Sometimes these barcode readers are termed as the price scanner or the point of scale scanner. The main components of the barcode readers are the scanner, a decoder and the cable. The barcode works on the principle that when a beam of light is being imposed on the barcode then the amount of the light which is reflected is being measured using the computer.

There are five basic types of barcode readers like pen wands, slot scanners, laser scanners, image scanners and the CCD scanners.

Pen wands: It is most durable and cheaper one. It is the simplest one and the user should handle it carefully in order to get scanned. The pen wand is a hand held scanner and it is to be hold properly against the barcode and it has to be moved very quickly.

Slot scanner: It is a stationary one and the item with the barcode has to be pulled across the slot by using the hand. For scanning the barcodes on the identification cards these slot scanners are used.

Laser scanner: There are two types of laser scanners. They can be hand held or the stationary one. This type of scanner can scan the barcode which is at the 24 inches away. This consists of the mirrors and the lenses for reading. Each time the scan is done it will take 500 readings to get the accurate one.

Image scanner: This is also called as the camera reader. A small video camera is used for taking the image of the barcode and by the use of different technologies the image can be decoded. The cost of the image scanner is less than the cost of the laser scanner. This scanner can read the data from 3 to 9 inches far away.

CCD scanner: Charge Couple Device scanner is used in the retail sales. It is some what better when compared to the pen wand. It is to be held very nearer to the barcode and it is in the shape of the gun. Each time the barcode is being scanned for several times which in turn reduce the error. The main drawback of a CCD scanner is that it cannot read a wider barcode.

These are the different types of readers which are used for the reading the barcodes.