Unleashing Efficiency: Exploring the Different Types of Wireless Barcode Scanners

From the vast spaces of gigantic warehouses, to the most inevitable point for each of us, the stores, barcode scanners are an inevitable part of our lives today. These portable devices that read and decode the product barcode allow maximal efficiency and minimal data entry errors wherever there’s need for inventory management, product identification, and pricing lookup.

Why Wireless?

wireless barcode scanner
source: pikwizard.com

Wireless is the new normal in our society and we don’t even consider it news anymore. Like all the other systems, barcode scanners as product information tracking devices have applied this type of data transmission and the results are increased mobility and efficiency, decreased data entry errors, and in the bottom line, reduced costs.

So, if you want your business to thrive, you need to implement the reliable wireless barcode scanners because they are: 

  • Mobile. No tripping on and pulling cables around. Just pay attention to staying within the specified range.
  • Versatile. Retail stores, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, healthcare settings, you can use them in all different environments, wherever you need to improve accuracy or streamline the processes. 
  • Compatible. Most cordless barcode scanners today fit with a wide range of devices including PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets which allows a relatively forthright integration into the existing systems.
  • Rechargeable. Typically powered by rechargeable batteries, wireless scanners can be used for extended time without frequent replacements. 

They also provide: 

  • Real-time data transfer to the connected device which enables instant inventory updates, data collection, and order processing.
  • Data storage supply, which means that some wireless scanners have built-in memory that stores scanned data when out of range. This means it is not lost during temporary disconnections. 
  • Model configuration that enables you to meet specific requirements like capturing additional information beyond barcode data.

Do They Have Any Drawbacks?


One of the things that might look like a drawback would be the fact that wireless barcode scanners are initially more expensive than their wired versions. This is due to the additional built-in modules for wireless transmission and rechargeable batteries which add to the final price, but in the longer run it all pays off.

Transmission Range

Another feature that requires your attention is the range of wireless transmission. It’s very important to select the suitable model for the specific purposes and environment you need to use it for.

Signal interference

These systems use electromagnetic signals that can be interfered with by signals from other wireless devices or physical obstructions in their range. So, have this in mind if you want to avoid temporary loss of the original signal, poor receiver performance, or bad output quality of the equipment.

Security Risk

Wireless transmission can also pose a possible security risk, and if you need to transmit sensitive information, you will have to implement encryption and security measures.

Types of Wireless Barcode Readers

wireless barcode scanner
source: pikwizard.com

Based on their transmission technology, there are three categories of cordless barcode readers and those are:


They connect to a computer, tablet, or smartphone via Bluetooth technology and have a relatively short to moderate range of communication, typically up to 10 metres.


These connect to the local Wi-Fi network and transmit the data over a more extended range compared to Bluetooth scanners. It makes them suitable for offices and places where you have a Wi-Fi network.

RFID (radio frequency)

These devices use radio frequency technology to transmit data to a base station or receiver. Since they allow transmission in longer wireless ranges, you can use them for larger warehouses and manufacturing environments.

Based on the form, wireless scanners can be:


The famous shopping pistols are the most common type, lightweight with ergonomic design which allows an easy one-hand operation. Usually with a trigger or a scan button on the handle, they have a close range of a maximum of several feet. You can use them everywhere: retail shops, grocery stores, warehouses, and healthcare industries. Extremely convenient, they sometimes come with stands that alleviate the process.

Mobile Barcode Scanning Units

These units look like smartphones or tablets and have powerful processors that use the same Android/Windows operating systems. The barcode is scanned through the device’s rear camera and saved in the internal memory. Easy to operate with large touchscreen displays, they offer the perfect wireless freedom, where you can store the data and later transfer it into the company’s inventory system.

Mobile Computer Scanners

Also known as computers on a handle or mobile terminals, they combine the functions of a barcode scanner with a small computer. They have a long barcode range and fast scan speeds. These wireless readers run on mobile operating systems (Android or Windows), possess powerful processors, and large in-built internal memory, and can connect to Wi-Fi or cellular networks for real-time data processing and retrieval. Typically used in shipping and transportation centres, warehouses, and manufacturing plants, they are excellent for inventory management, order processing, and asset tracking.

Wearable Scanners

These are practical small, portable devices that are mounted on the user’s body (hand, wrist, finger, head), to facilitate barcode scanning. Ideal for hands-free operations, tight spaces, or limited mobility areas, they increase productivity and reduce fatigue.

How to Choose the Right Device?

wireless barcode scanner
source: pikwizard.com

To choose the right wireless scanner for your specific needs, you have to consider all the aspects of the data collecting process and pay attention to the following factors: 

  • Type of barcodes you have to read: 1D, 2D, QR or stacked.
  • Type of wireless technology you need, range, and possible interference.
  • Compatibility with your already existing systems and hardware.
  • Good ergonomics, design, and user-friendly interface.
  • Battery life.
  • Durability.
  • Data capture and storage possibilities.

Finally, balance all the desirable features with the budget including the long-term maintenance costs. Ask fellow professionals for recommendations based on their experiences and read all the reviews, manufacturer warranties, and support options.

Mia Hadson

Mia is a passionate blogger. Her obsession with beauty, health and shopping started young. Her philosophy is based on simple things, regardless of whether it is about applying makeup, decorating a room or cleaning a home. She believes simplicity is the basis of beauty and she implements this ideology in all spheres of her life.