2 minute read

Symbol Handheld Scanner

Uses of the Symbol Handheld Scanner

At its simplest level, the Symbol Handheld Scanner is a device which contains a laser than can read bar codes and then deliver that information to a computer system. Anyone who has used a handheld gun at a self-checkout line has used a handheld scanner, and anyone who has been checked out by a roving Apple Store employee, or helped by a roving Target associate who looked something up in their strange gun-shaped device has benefited from one. Today, part of a broader field called enterprise mobility, handheld scanners are completely changing the way many companies do business.

Symbol Technologies, which is currently owned by Motorola, was founded in 1973 by a PhD in New York and his venture capital partner. Although they started out making handheld laser scanning guns, they quickly expanded into making mobile scanners for inventory management. Because storing data on a mobile device was extremely costly at that time, they developed their devices to communicate to the server over radio waves. In fact, Symbol Technologies was one of the first users of the 802.11b standard which is more currently known as “WiFi”. They have also upgraded their wireless scanners to allow two-way communication where not only can the scanner send data to the server, but it can also receive it.

Today, Symbol Wireless Scanners have a variety of uses. They are still used in a number of retail settings where not only can store employees use them for inventory tracking, but also to get additional information to answer questions for clients. Healthcare organizations frequently use them for access to electronic patient records by simply scanning a barcoded bracelet or chart. Live updates of packages in transit through the major shipping services are also frequently produced by an employee scanning the tracking label with a Symbol Wireless Scanner. Finally, scanners with integrated printers are what make it so fast and easy to return a rental car at most airports today. As radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags continue to increase in prominence, the capabilities of these scanners will also begin to increase.

Symbol Wireless Scanners are available in a range of different configurations and capabilities. Many are aimed at the small business market and run over USB and are plug-and-play compatible with the Windows operating system. They are also typically designed to be extremely rugged, with many capable of surviving a five foot drop onto concrete. Such diverse industries as hospitality and petrochemicals are benefiting from this technology, and it is likely to continue growing in both functionality and penetration in the future.

Additional topics

Business ManagementSmall Business Resources