Audio for Barcode Scanners

  • September 22, 2020

In 1951 the barcode was patented in the US, but it took another 20 years before the invention was commercially successful. Today the barcode and other variants are common place. From the humble beginning on a pack of chewing gum in the 70’s, the barcode now finds a useful place in a broad range of applications from medical to education, from product information to inventory management and so on. There is no end in sight to how useful the barcode can be. The barcode contains information about the product on which it is affixed, but in order for the information to be useful it needs to be read. Enter the barcode scanner.

A barcode scanner incorporates technology which allows it to read the lines forming the barcode. There are two types of barcodes; 1D and 2D. The 1D barcode organizes information in a set of parallel lines while the 2D has both vertical and horizontal lines. While the 1D barcode is more common than the 2D, the 2D has the advantage of cramming more product information into the code. Since there are different types of barcodes then by necessity there are different types of barcode scanners.

A barcode scanner incorporates technology which allows it to read the lines forming the barcode. There are two types of barcodes; 1D and 2D. The 1D barcode organizes information in a set of parallel lines while the 2D has both vertical and horizontal lines. While the 1D barcode is more common than the 2D, the 2D has the advantage of cramming more product information into the code. Since there are different types of barcodes then by necessity there are different types of barcode scanners.

Generally, barcode scanners have a smaller footprint, are light weight and emit a sound to alert the user that scanning is in process/and or complete. The sound source for a majority of barcode scanners is a loudspeaker with a form factor that would be low profile and with a small foot print. Given the versatility of barcode scanners and the wide range of environments they find themselves being used in, the loudspeaker needs to produce a loud sound with high fidelity. Since some barcode scanners are meant to be used in harsh conditions where moisture or dust is prevalent, the loudspeaker in those applications would also need to be able to function in those harsh conditions, hence the need for loudspeakers to be waterproof and dustproof.

In many barcode scanner applications, space is at a premium and the need to have consistent sound quality is non-negotiable. In this case, a solution for such a situation is an integrated audio solution that is, to have the loudspeaker in a dedicated acoustic cavity. In addition to achieving consistent audio performance there are other fringe benefits such as reduction in manufacturing cost. Stetron’s engineering team has the experience and resources available in providing integrated audio solutions and with many years supplying loudspeakers for barcode scanners they are ready to help you with your next barcode scanner project. Some of Stetron’s product offering suitable for barcode scanners can be found here.