4.2.3 Charge-Couple Device (CCD) Scanner
These readers are similar to the pen wand for the exception that they have a better read-range. These scanners typically have a “gun” type interface and they have to be held no more than one inch from the bar code . These scanners also use a technology that helps them reduce errors. The Charge-couple device will scan the bar code in question a few hundred times and this is what helps to reduce read errors. But these scanners can only read bar codes as large as the scanning face. These scanners are typically used in retail outlets such as Wal-Mart and Winn Dixie. The image below is an example of a “gun” style charge-couple device scanner and these scanners can range in price from $50.00 to $1,000.00.
4.2.4 Image Scanner
An Image scanner is also referred to as a camera reader. An Image scanner uses a small video camera to capture an image of the bar code. It then uses am installed software that helps to breakdown the bar code and identify the information that the bar code contains. The distance that these scanners can read bar codes is between 3 to 9 inches away on average. The cost of an image scanner is usually lower than a laser scanner but this varies on the sophistication of the laser scanner. Cell phones are beginning to popularize these scanners. Almost every new smart phone contains a bar code scanning application, and if they do not contain one, they are usually free. Having a bar code scanner on a cell phone allows the user to scan any bar code they come across and compare that product to other prices and outlets nationwide. A typical Image scanner can cost between nothing at all if one were to use a cell phone application to upwards of $500.00 for a complete system. Figure 4.7 shows an example of a cell phone that has the image bar code scanner application installed on it. Most of the time this application comes pre-installed on new smart phones.
4.2.5 Laser Scanner
A laser scanner is kind of universal in that it can be wither hand held or mounted to a surface. Laser scanners have a much farther reading distance than any other scanner available on the market, but typically are used for instances of less than a foot away. The laser scanner uses a system of mirrors and lenses to allow the scanner to read the bar code regardless of orientation, and can easily read a bar code up to 24 inches away . To reduce the possibility of errors, a laser scanner, may perform up to 500 scans per second. There are also long range laser scanners available that can read a bar code up to 30 feet away. Laser scanners are the most efficient bar code scanner available. These are also available both wired and wireless. The costs of these are in line with all of the other bar code scanners ranging from $100.00 to $1,000.00 with the most common systems costing around $200.00. Figure 4.8 show what a laser scanner may look like.
4.3 Automated Technologies