A barcode is a set of lines of different widths and sizes representing data, that when read help identify the scanned object. Barcodes are used to help organize and index information or prices about an object. Barcodes used by the U.S. postal service to help speed the delivery of mail is an example of how a barcode could be used. The picture shows a barcode for an address.
Barcode readers and scanners
A BCR (barcode reader) or scanner, also known as a POS (point of sale) scanner is a hardware input device capable of reading a barcode using a laser. It can also load the details of the product or log information about that product into a database. An example of a barcode reader is a supermarket barcode scanner that reads and logs the price of a product. The picture shows a barcode reader from HP (Hewlett-Packard).
Why is a barcode reader an input device?
Like other input devices, a barcode reader is bringing in (inputting) information from the outside world into a computer or other electronic device. If the barcode reader also has a screen that displays (outputs) results or prints results, it would be considered an input/output device.
A barcode printer is a hardware device capable of printing adhesive barcodes that are attached to a product to identify it and help keep track of inventory.
Barcodes Inc. is a company dedicated to barcodes and has a wide variety of barcode products, such as barcode readers, barcode printers, labels, and more.
Barcodes Inc. also has an online generator that enables you to create custom barcodes over the Internet, and a free downloadable barcode font, at the barcode generator.