How do barcodes work?

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A barcode holds encoded information and a barcode scanner is able to translate this code into numbers and letters which is passed onto a host system.

Barcodes provide rapid, simple, and accurate readings, as well as data transmission for items that need to be identified, tracked or managed. Barcodes can be directly printed onto virtually any material and provide a cost-effective and accurate solution for capturing data. There is no single barcode type that has a universal business application. Therefore, a need for different symbologies exist.
When you breakdown the DNA of a barcode, character sets are combinations of bars and spaces that represent a specific character. X Dimension is the width of the smallest bar or space element in the barcode which is also referred to as mil size (1mil = .001 inch). Quiet ones are the areas just before and after the barcode.