Bar Code and RFID (Radio Frequency ID chips) are the typically AutoID technologies utilized, but technologies like Magnetic Stripe, Voice Recognition, or Biometrics may also meet your needs. AutoID technologies are considered a “system” with specific input and output, and they need to work together to meet your specific purposes. Don’t expect to purchase random pieces of AutoID hardware and software and expect it to work for you. Making it work together is not difficult, but not treating it like a system will waste a lot of time and money.
We can recommend hardware, purchase/lease this hardware as a ‘one stop shop’, or integrate hardware that you are already using – just let us know!
SmartPhones and Tablets
SmartPhones are amazingly capable devices. They already read 1D and 2D barcodes, communicate via WiFi and 3G/4G cell technology, and have more memory and faster processors than traditional RFID readers. We have ported several of our RFID applications to work on Android, IOS and Windows SmartPhones and they work with various Bluetooth-connected RFID readers like the TSL 1128 and Zebra RFD8500 sled.
An extremely cost effective technology, bar code solutions vary from simple, one-point solutions requiring zero infrastructure and changes to your applications, to more mobile, WiFi-connected solutions that allow your people to take the computer to where the job needs to be done. 1D (dimensional) barcodes can be read using any type of reader but carry a limited amount of information. 2D barcodes carry at least 10X the data in less space, has built in error-correction, has been around for 20+ years and is the only way to go in the future.
RFID is not a new AutoID technology and, for the proper application, has huge benefits over barcode technology. A decade ago it being pushed by the retail and DoD communities, but now is finding broad acceptance avaition, medical, oil and gas, and other industries. Closed loop applications are the most cost effective ways to achieve ROI on RFID uses, but the aviation industry has implemented amazing solutions for identifying and tracking assets on aircraft and on the ground.
Magnetic strip technology is a common tool that can provide excellent value in the right applications. Examples include access control, employee ID and computer log-on, debit tracking like urban mass transit systems, and other creative uses that can be found in your own facility. Because of the potential for damage and cloning, a replacement technology to consider is a NFC or Mifare RFID chip technology.
Voice recognition can be used everywhere from hands-free warehouse and factory floor application run on a hip-mounted computer, to the traditional telephone voice-response systems. This technology has become much cheaper in recent years and has decades of expansion ahead of it as the human voice is the easiest way for most people to enter data into a computer.
Various forms of biometrics are now available, from expensive visual and voice-print systems to more cost effective retinal and handprint scan systems and even inexpensive fingerprint readers that are now built into business laptops as a normal feature. As security issues will continue to grow in importance, biometrics may be the solution you need to achieve a higher level of certainty of who is accessing your most critical information and assets. Biometrics has been in use in our RFIDAeroTrack tool management solution for a number of years.