How Many Types of Scanner Are There and What Are They Used For?

Scanners are computer input devices that have been widely used to scan documents, images, and text files. They have made it possible for us to convert paper documents into digital formats that can be easily viewed and edited with the help of computer software. In this article, we will discuss the different types of scanners available on the market and their applications.

1. Drum Scanners

Drum scanners are equipped with a photo multiplier tube (PMT) that is responsible for scanning images and documents. They can scan images in high resolution, capturing even the smallest details. Drum scanners are commonly used in industries such as publishing, printing, and advertising.

2. Handheld Scanner

Handheld scanners, also known as hand scanners, are compact in size and easy to carry around. They can scan any size of product and are less weighted. They are popular input devices in computer systems and are commonly used in industries such as healthcare, retail, and logistics.

3. Flatbed Scanner

Flatbed scanners are the most popular and widely used scanners. They are also known as desktop scanners or personal computer scanners. Flatbed scanners have a large glass surface and a lid, making them ideal for scanning flat objects such as photos and paper. Some models of flatbed scanners come with built-in all-in-one devices that function as printers, scanners, copy machines, and fax machines.

4. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR is a mechanical device that converts images, pictures, documents, or manually written content into readable form. These scanned documents are later provided to the system for further processing, such as modification and updates using editing software like Photoshop and Adobe Reader.

5. Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR)

MICR is an input device of a computer system that is generally used in the banking sector. It is used to handle and process numerous checks every day. MICR devices are capable of reading important and sensitive information printed on checks, such as check number, account number, name of the account holder, and bank ID codes.

6. Image Scanner

Image scanners are digital devices used to scan images, pictures, printed text documents, and objects, and then convert them into a digital image. They are used in a variety of domestic and industrial applications, such as design, reverse engineering, orthotics, gaming, and testing.

7. Light Pen

The light pen is a computer input device similar to a pen used to read barcodes. It is also capable of pointing at objects and characters on the monitor screen. The light pen helps users modify changes in the drawings, and it is also considered a handheld light-sensitive device known as a pointing device.

8. Barcode Reader

Barcode readers, also known as barcode scanners, are attached to computer systems. After scanning, the complete details of the item can be fetched on the computer for quick access with database administration. They are commonly used in industries such as retail, logistics, and healthcare.

In conclusion, scanners have made it possible for us to digitize paper documents and images, making them easier to store, access, and edit. Each type of scanner has its unique features and is used in different industries for various purposes. Understanding the different types of scanners and their applications can help you choose the right scanner for your business or personal use.