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This page is related to Interactivity via USB.
A barcode is a method of representing data in a visual, machine-readable form. It was invented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver and patented in the US in 1952. The invention was based on Morse code that was extended to thin and thick bars. Barcodes are nowadays widely used around the world in many contexts.
A barcode reader or barcode scanner is an optical scanner that can read printed barcodes, decode the data contained in the barcode and send it to a connected device. It consists of a light source, a lens, and a light sensor for translating optical impulses into electrical signals. Additionally, nearly all barcode readers contain decoder circuitry that can analyze the image data provided by the sensor and send the barcode's content to the scanner's output port.
These devices present themselves in the same way a keyboard would, and can thus be used for a basic lookup in a local list or even into a remote database (some coding would be required for this case).