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  A Standards Update - AIDC Standards

Welcome to this edition of a regular column about standards in the Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) industry. This column will be updated regularly to keep you current on news of standards and their impact on the industry.

High Tech Aid offers Expertise in AIDC technologies such as RFID and barcode as well as NFC and Internet of ThingsIn the coming months, we will try to educate you on the various technologies covered under the AIDC umbrella as well as bring news of the standardization process and its progress. If you have news about standards that you want to share, or questions you want to ask, send them to steve@hightechaid.com and we will try to incorporate them into the next column.

In last month's issue of this column, we summarized the Fast Track process at JTC 1. This month we will start looking at the various AIDC technologies and who is involved in standardization in these technologies.

AIDC technologies cover many areas including barcode, RFID, RFDC, magnetic stripe, optical card, smart card, contactless card, biometrics, vision and EAS. The standardization for this wide variety of technologies does not all occur in the same place and to further complicate matters, there are two types of standards that cover this industry.

The first type of standard is a technology standard. This type of standard is the base line for the creation of a product that uses the technology. An example of this is a barcode symbology standard. The majority of the symbology standards that exist today have been created by AIM (For a list of AIM Symbology standards visit http://www.aimglobal.org/aimstore/default.htm). Some of these barcode standards are currently being used as the basis for standardization at the JTC 1 level by SC31 (http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink?func=ll&objId=327946&objAction=browse&sort=name). Others where the international demand is not there will remain as AIM standards. AIM is also working on the standardization of other symbologies and a list can be found at http://www.aimglobal.org/standards/standards_in_progress.htm.

High Tech Aid offers Resources in AIDC technologies such as RFID and barcode as well as NFC and Internet of ThingsOther technologies are standardized by other groups. At JTC 1 the Sub Committee responsible for card technology standards is SC17. They are creating technology standards for magnetic stripe, smart card, optical card, and contactless smart cards. You can visit the SC17 web site at http://www.sc17.com.

Biometrics standards are just starting to be developed and a good reference to the work that is going on can be found at http://www.biometrics.org/html/standards.html.

RFID standards are being developed by SC31 along with barcode, data syntax, and conformance standards. There is also work being done at national levels by some countries. For a list of some of the international, regional, and national standards bodies visit http://www.aimglobal.org/standards/stndrdorgs.htm

The second type of standard is what I will term an application standard. In this case a standard is written that will call upon a technology standard as the basis for the implementation of an application. An example of this might be the AIAG standard for Parts Identification and Tracking Application. This application standard defines specifications for both direct marking and labeling of individual parts, kits, assemblies/ subassemblies, unit packs and subpacks, using both Code 39 linear bar codes and Data Matrix two dimensional symbols. The standard describes technical requirements for the symbols, format rules for the data in the symbols, and rules for printing the human-readable interpretation.

In the case of an application standard it is typically the application industry that writes the standard (as in the case above where AIAG wrote the standard for automotive parts marking). The application standard makes reference to the technology standard(s) (in this case Code 39 and Data Matrix), so that the implementation of the symbology itself is correct, but the application standard details how to use the symbology to encode the needed information and what that information should be.

For a list of application standards developers for various industries see http://www.aimglobal.org/resources/industry_organizations.htm. You will see that this list of standards developers covers a wide variety of applications and is probably not all inclusive. You should be able to find a link to the standards you are looking for from this page.

In the next column we will delve a bit deeper into each technology and the standardization work that is being done.