During a shopping excursion to a shopping mall, you would have noticed the cashier scanning your products using some Laser device to produce a bill. What actually he is doing that he is reading the product barcodes using a Laser/Barcode scanner. Barcode scanner reads the code, data is sent to the computer, and computer looks up into the database for the price and description of the item. Barcodes are structured to contain specific product related information. It basically encodes alphanumeric characters and symbols using black and white stripes, also called bars. Bar-coding is one of the AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Collection) technologies which reduce human involvement in data entry and collection and thereby also reducing error and time.
Have you ever noticed a black magnetic stripe at the backside of our credit card? A number of thoughts run through your mind. For what purpose magnetic stripe is used? What information this stripe contains? Is the information only being read or the encoded information is copied? And, if information is saved, what could be the consequences? A thought like this inspire us to take a closer look at the card technologies and the family to which they belong- Automatic Identification and Data Capture technologies (AIDC). Answers to all these above mentioned questions are simple. The purpose for using magnetic stripe technology and in general, AIDC technologies, is to identify people or objects through machine automated process.