During the dot-com boom , one of the "next best things" was the CueCat - a type of personal scanner that could read coded URLs in advertising and feed them to a web browser. Freetronics customer 'damcave' retrieved a CueCat and has documented neatly a way to make it read standard bar codes using some Arduino hardware and ingenuity.
You can see in the image above that connecting external hardware to an Arduino-compatible board is very simple with the terminal shield, our solid protoshield that still allows more shields to stack on top. The matching Arduino sketch outputs the barcode number and type to the serial monitor, as shown below:
Once again, this is a prime example of how you can use Arduino-compatible hardware to interface with a wide variety of objects. For all the theory and details, check here. To get started with your own Arduino-based project, consider our Freetronics Eleven - the Arduino-Uno compatible with low-profile USB socket, onboard prototyping space and easy to view LEDs: