Why 2-D Imagers are Surpassing Laser Scanners For Bar Code Applications
Misperceptions about 2-D imagers are changing fast, which is why 2-D imagers are the fastest-growing category of bar code readers. Only a few years ago 2-D imagers were (wrongly) considered a niche technology mostly used for reading 2-D bar codes. Now they are becoming the technology of choice for most bar code applications, and lasers are on the way to becoming a niche technology. The reasons: 2-D imagers are as fast or faster than laser scanners, can read all the same bar codes as lasers plus 2-D symbols that lasers can’t, and can do much more.
Not only can 2-D imagers read more bar codes than lasers – including QR Codes, Data Matrix and other popular 2-D symbols – they can also do more than read bar codes. Imagers can take digital pictures, shoot video, capture customer signatures, scan documents and even process the scanned data. These capabilities, which are outlined in the graphic below, enable new business processes that are not possible with older-generation technology. In an era where workers are tasked with doing more – collecting more information, providing more documentation, being more productive, etc. – 2-D imagers provide more flexibility.