Though, one of the most useful, barcode is an underrated invention. Barcode comes from near past; they were implemented in the year 1970. Since then, they have made life of shoppers and stores fairly easy and hassle free. It all started when a small food vendor realized how tedious it was to keep a track of his inventory and their prices. In 1948, he decided to find an effective solution. And he got in touch with The Drexel Institute of Technology to work out a feasible answer to the problem that loomed from his head. Bernard Silver from the institute accepted the challenge and started investigating the problem. He began working to find out an automatic solution to keep record of the items sold. Soon Bernard along with some of his students realized that the answer lied in ultraviolet rays, scanner and ink.
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.
RFID is a tracking technology used to identify and authenticate tags that are applied to any product, individual or animal. Radio frequency Identification and Detection is a general term used for technologies that make use of radio waves in order to identify objects and people. Purpose of Radio frequency Identification and Detection system is to facilitate data transmission through the portable device known as tag that is read with the help of RFID reader; and process it as per the needs of an application. Information transmitted with the help of tag offers location or identification along with other specifics of product tagged – purchase date, color, and price. Typical RFID tag includes microchip with radio antenna, mounted on substrate.