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NFC Hype, the Future of Bluetooth Beacons and Ultracode 2-D Color Bar Codes
At the fall meeting of AIM's German branch, members debated the current and future state of auto-ID technology.
Günther Trautzl, the key account manager for industrial solutions at software developer ICS, sees it similarly, and discussed the AIM SI (system integration) team during the meeting. The interface to transfer auto-ID data to merchandise-managing systems needs to be simplified and facilitated, he said. Therefore, the AIM SI team has worked together with the OPC Foundation to develop a software specification that will be published under the description Companion Standard at next year's Hannover Messe industrial fair.
With the Ultracode—currently a draft specification developed by the AIM Technical Symbology Committee (TSC)—data can be encoded by means of colors, with many application possibilities afforded through the interpretation of these colors. While the classical industry scanner lacks a color camera, smartphones already have one.
Riding the Bluetooth Beacon Hype Cycle
With this technology, you can also implement smartphone-based guides for blind people, for example (see San Francisco Airport Tests Beacons for Blind Travelers). The problem is that beacons are in hype mode at this point, and everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon for this new technology. Therefore, there are a lot of companies that manufacture low-quality beacons, which harms the technology's reputation.
"Let's take a look how the beacons will develop," said Frithjof Walk, AIM-D's CEO and FEIG Electronic's OBID sales manager, at the event's conclusion. "We already experienced a similar hype with the introduction of RFID technology. In the end, there were only a few left from many providers who used the technology profitably."
Stefan Leske is the head of PR and marketing at advanced PANMOBIL systems GmbH & Co. KG.
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