AIDC Overview

Used to identify and track items, automatic identification and data collection (also called AIDC, Auto ID, automatic data capture, and automatic data collection) is a family of technologies that identify, verify, record, communicate and store information on discrete, packaged, or containerized items. Because the process is automated (rather than reliant on the pen, paper, and people), information is gathered quickly and accurately. The most common technologies used to identify and capture data are barcodes, handheld and fixed-position scanners and imagers, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and readers, and voice recognition, weighing, and cubing devices. Typical applications include receiving and putaway, inventory picking, order fulfillment, determination of weight and volume, and tracking and tracing throughout the supply chain.

AIDC is the process or means of obtaining external data, particularly through the analysis of images, sounds, or videos. To capture data, a transducer is employed which converts the actual image or a sound into a digital file. The file is then stored and at a later time, it can be analyzed by a computer, or compared with other files in a database to verify the identity or to provide authorization to enter a secured system. Capturing data can be done in various ways; the best method depends on the application.

In biometric security systems, capture is the acquisition of or the process of acquiring and identifying characteristics such as finger image, palm image, facial image, iris print, or voice print which involves audio data, and the rest all involve video data.

Radio-frequency identification is relatively a new AIDC technology that was first developed in the 1980s. The technology acts as a base in automated data collection, identification, and analysis systems worldwide. RFID has found its importance in a wide range of markets, including livestock identification and Automated Vehicle Identification (AVI) systems because of its capability to track moving objects. These automated wireless AIDC systems are effective in manufacturing environments where barcode labels could not survive.

AIDC Future

The future plans for AIDC are as simple as the application is difficult. If all items are equipped with a minute identifying device, daily life on earth will go through a major transformation. Products running out of stock or being wasted will no longer exist because we will know exactly what is being consumed anywhere on the globe. Theft will be non-existent when we know where an item is at all times.

Counterfeiting of critical or expensive items such as drugs, repair parts, or electronic components will be reduced or eliminated because manufacturers or other supply chain businesses will know where their products are at all times.

Product waste and spoilage will be greatly reduced because environmental sensors will alert suppliers or consumers when sensitive products are exposed to excessive heat, cold, vibration, or other risks.

Supply chains will operate far more efficiently because suppliers will ship only the products needed when they are needed. This will also bring about a consumer and supplier price drop on most items.


  1. What is Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC)?
  2. Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC)
  3. Automatic identification and data capture