Charged Coupled Device (CCD) technology is a technique whereby a bar code is photographed, digitized, and electronically sampled by built-in photodetectors. The detectors process the measurement of every bar and space using the number of adjacent photodetectors which contrast a black mark and a white space. CCDs are lighter than most laser scanners and are generally much more rugged since they have no moving parts.

CCD readers range from about 2 inches to approximately 4 inches in width. The most common CCD readers measure roughly 3 inches. Of all the scanning devices, a CCD reader is the easiest to use. The user simply covers the bar code with the head of the scanner and pulls the trigger to activate the scanner.

The cost of a CCD scanner is about one-third the price of a laser scanner and about four times the cost of a wand. The CCD reader is a contact scanner in that the user must have direct contact with the bar code label. If a wand is too difficult, too timely, or cumbersome to use, a CCD scanner could be an alternate solution.

A new technology related to CCD is Fixed Focus Optics (FFO). FFO technology utilizes the same principles as CCD technology, however, FFO scanners are non-contact readers. FFO readers can digitize a bar code from a distance of up to twenty inches from the label depending upon the resolution of the bar code. FFO promises to be a leading contender in the scanning market with the added capability of digitizing two-dimensional bar codes.