The rise of the barcode scanner

The humble barcode scanner was always the poor relation of computer input devices historically.

It was there simply to read numbers and any processing was done behind the scenes by proper computers. Mostly it was used in industrial contexts though most people came across it in the supermarket where, of course, it is indispensible.

However, the usefulness of a simple printed code that can be read by an equally simple device has led to the widening of its use through the barcodes “printed” on computer screens that allow you to load software directly onto your Android phone.

These new barcode readers are mainly software that interprets the photograph taken by the camera in the phone so they’re considerably more sophisticated than the humble scanners that were formerly used in supermarkets.

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