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Scanner Basics

There have been significant changes and many improvements in scanning technologies over the past few years. Take the time to learn what’s new, and find out how today’s tools may meet your data capture needs better than ever before, while expanding your opportunity to drive improved productivity.


  • Linear Imagers are solid state devices with no moving parts, which leverage some of the same technologies as are used in digital cameras and fax machines. Highly reliable, they read both linear and stacked 2D codes. Linear imagers are excellent at reading high density and poorly printed or damaged bar codes. They cannot be used at extremely long distances.
  • Standard Area Imagers work by capturing an actual “picture” of their target, making them ideal for applications requiring signature capture or photos. They can be used with both 1D and all kinds of 2D codes, in any orientation, and do a good job reading poorly printed or damaged labels. A disadvantage to standard area imagers is their ability to scan only within close range.
  • Near-Far Area Imagers leverage a breakthrough auto-focus capability that enables them to read virtually any bar code – 1D, 2D, postal, composite – from 6 inches to 50 feet away. This capability, combined with image capture, omni-directional reading, the ability to read poorly printed bar codes, and reduced need for retro-reflective labels, makes the near-far area imager the ideal choice for most of today’s warehouse applications, as well as a smart choice for meeting future needs. The near-far area imager (known as the EX25 scan engine) is available only from Intermec.

Laser Scanners

  • Standard Laser Scanners read linear bar codes with a laser beam in conjunction with oscillating mirrors to automatically move the beam back and forth across the code. Their major advantage is range. Disadvantages include high cost, moving parts, and their inability to read damaged or poorly printed labels.
  • MEMS Laser Scanners deliver much faster scan rates and improved reliability over standard laser scanners because the oscillating mirrors of the standard laser are replaced by a silicon chip. Built on Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) technology, these scan engines are compact and durable. They read both linear and 2D stacked bar codes.
Intermec offers a full range of scanning solutions, to meet its customers’ specific scanning needs.

Supporting Links

Intermec Introduces the EX25 Near-Far Area Imager Engine (video) »

Case Studies

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White Papers

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