6 Different Types Of Barcode Scanners

September 05 , 2023

In the digital age, the efficiency of operations in various sectors hinges on the ability to quickly and accurately process information. Barcode scanners stand at the forefront of this capability, offering a bridge between physical items and digital data. As businesses strive to optimize their workflows, understanding the different types of barcode scanners becomes crucial. From the retail cashier's desk to the dynamic environment of a warehouse, the right barcode scanner can make a significant difference in productivity and accuracy.

This guide aims to demystify the various barcode scanner types available in the market, helping you to identify which scanner is best suited for your specific business needs. We will delve into the nuances of each type, from the traditional handheld wired scanner to innovative wearable devices, and explore how they cater to different scenarios in industries such as retail, healthcare, and logistics.

Desktop Barcode Scanners

Desktop barcode scanners are stationary devices designed to be used on a fixed surface, such as a checkout counter or a warehouse workstation. They are frequently spotted at retail establishments and distribution sites. Because of their high scanning speed and precision, these scanners are suitable for large-volume scanning applications.  Desktop scanners can read 1D and 2D barcodes and often come with features like omnidirectional scanning, which allows them to scan barcodes from any angle.

Warehouse Desktop Barcode Scanner

Warehouse Desktop Barcode Scanner

Embedded Barcode Scanner

Embedded barcode scanners are built into other devices or systems such as smartphones, tablets, and industrial machinery. They provide a seamless method of capturing barcode data without the use of an external scanner.  This type of scanner is commonly found in mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) systems, where the device's camera serves as the barcode scanner. Embedded scanners are convenient for on-the-go applications and are often cost-effective.

Portable Barcode Scanner

Portable barcode scanners are handheld devices that offer flexibility and mobility. They are commonly used in retail environments for inventory management, price checking, and order fulfillment. These scanners can be corded or cordless, with cordless models using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity. Portable scanners are available in various form factors, including gun-style, pen-style, and pocket-sized, to suit different user preferences.

Portable Barcode Scanner

Portable Barcode Scanner

Wearable Reader

Wearable barcode readers are a relatively new addition to the barcode scanning family. These devices are designed to be worn by workers, typically in industries like logistics and warehousing. Wearable readers can be in the form of gloves, smart glasses, or wrist-mounted devices. They offer hands-free operation, allowing employees to scan barcodes without having to pick up a separate scanner. This improves efficiency while decreasing the possibility of mistakes.

Handheld Wired Barcode Scanner

Recognized for their reliability, handheld wired barcode scanners are a staple in many business operations. These devices connect directly to a computer or terminal using a cable, such as USB or serial ports, ensuring a stable connection. Their durable build is particularly suited for challenging environments, such as manufacturing floors or outdoor industrial sites. Users can choose from different scanning technologies, including laser scanners for precise reads at a distance, or image-based scanners that can capture complex 2D codes. They are connected to a computer or terminal via a physical cable, typically a USB or serial connection. These scanners are tough and robust, making them ideal for use in harsh areas such as manufacturing and industrial settings. They come in a variety of scanning methods, including laser and imaging.

Handheld Barcode Scanner

Handheld Barcode Scanner

Handheld Wireless Barcode Scanner

Handheld wireless barcode scanners offer the same functionality as their wired counterparts but with the added benefit of mobility. They communicate with a host device, such as a computer or a tablet, via wireless technologies like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. These scanners are adaptable and well-suited for applications requiring mobility, such as retail floor scanning or inventory management in big warehouses.


The choice of barcode scanner type depends on specific business needs and the working environment. Whether what types of barcode scanners you are looking for, look no further than SYBLE! As a leading barcode scanner supplier in China, offering various barcode scanners. Contact us for more product details now!

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