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Imaging Moves Into the Mainstream - Why 2D Imagers are Surpassing Laser Scanners for Bar Code Applications

Bar Code Scanners

Misperceptions about 2D imagers are changing fast, which is why 2D imagers are the fastest-growing category of bar code readers. Only a few years ago 2D imagers were (wrongly) considered a niche technology mostly used for reading 2D 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: 2D imagers are as fast or faster than laser scanners, can read all the same bar codes as lasers plus 2D symbols that lasers can’t, and can do much more.

Not only can 2D imagers read more bar codes than lasers – including QR Codes, Data Matrix and other popular 2D 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. – 2D imagers provide more flexibility.

2D imaging technology gives businesses the two things they need most from their bar code readers: outstanding performance in today’s applications, and investment protection to meet future needs. This white paper is a guide to 2D bar code imaging technology, including an overview of capabilities and how 2D imagers perform in traditional applications, the beneficial new business processes that imaging enables, and the advantages 2D imaging provides compared to laser scanners.

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