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Scanning Barcodes with Your Tablet or Mobile Device

Companies have been using barcodes for years, particularly in retail settings, to sell books, CDs, and DVDs. But advances in technology have turned smartphones and tablets into effective barcode scanners in a variety of settings.

Barcode scanner apps for tablets and other devices translate traditional barcodes so you can retrieve information quickly within an application, rather than typing in a series of numbers. They also read QR codes (those black-and-white squares that contain useful consumer data). Consumers can scan barcodes and QR codes that bring them to websites, price comparisons, user reviews, and more.

How it Works

In the past, barcode scanners required a cabled connection to computers as well as specialized scanners. With Bluetooth and mobile technology, consumers and businesses can now connect wirelessly. In addition, it’s possible to scan QR codes and barcodes with a tablet, smartphone, or another mobile device. Their built-in cameras work within barcode scanning apps to efficiently transmit data.


There are several advantages to turning your tablet into a barcode scanner:

  • It saves time—Entering numbers on a tablet can be frustrating without a keyboard. With barcode scanning on your tablet, you can access digital information without having to spend time typing in all of the numbers.
  • It’s easy to use—You don’t have to be a techie to use barcode technology. Just point the built-in camera to the code and the app can use image processing techniques to decode it.
  • It’s convenient—If you need to share information with other tablets; your barcode scanner app takes care of it. All you need is a barcode.

Where is Barcode Technology Used?

Businesses continue to rely on barcode scanners to report inventory and track assets. Employees at grocery stores and retail outlets continue to use barcode scanners to track inventory and check out items at the cash register. But now barcode scanners are commonly used for other purposes, such as:

  • Shopping—Consumers can read product reviews and compare prices before purchasing items. In grocery stores, customers can get details about nutritional information and locate coupons.
  • Paperwork—Many people use barcode scanners to eliminate clutter. They scan receipts and paperwork that may be needed later for billing or insurance purposes.
  • Advertising—It’s simple to connect people to businesses with barcode technology. Simply insert codes in brochures, posters, or business cards to link customers to contact information, websites, and special event information.

There are many apps available for personal and business use on the market. They all share one common goal—making it easy to access and transmit information quickly.

Try our free online Barcode Generator.

The Free Barcode Generator of Choice

The Barcode Generator is a free tool from PiiComm which allows businesses and individuals to create custom barcodes.

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Watch a video on ShipTrack barcode scanning – click here