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ID Expo 1998

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Top Ten New Barcode Products - ID Expo 1998

April 20, 1998, Advanstar Communications announced that they were acquiring SCAN-Tech, the oldest trade show covering the automated data capture industry and a competitor to ID Expo. Tuesday May 6, 1998 the last "t" was crossed on the agreement and it was announced that ID Expo 98 would be the last ID Expo show.

I was happy that SCAN-TECH was coming in to the fold of a publishing and exhibition company with a proven track record in ADC, but I was sad to see ID Expo go. Not too many people know that I coined the name "ID Expo" while I was editor of Bar Code News (formerly ID Systems Magazine and Supply Chain Systems). In 1984, I was asked by Helmers Publishing to help plan a new trade show to compete with Scan-Tech and come up with some names for the show. I presented two names: IDEX and ID Expo. ID Expo was adopted and I became program chairman of the first and second show. I was responsible for planning the technical programs for IDExpo 86 and 87. In fact, I was keynote speaker at the first ID Expo.

Here are my picks for the top ten new products for ID Expo 97, the last ID Expo.


Media Magician from Graftek The number one product goes to Media Magician from Graftek. Media Magician automatically tracks and reorders labels, tags and ribbon based on usage trends, safety stock and lead times. Weekly re-orders are sent automatically via FAX or via Internet e-mail from production sites to the label provider.

The product is designed for supply chain integration and is intended for resellers who offer vendor managed inventory and desire to work closely with their customers. An additional feature is the tracking of cumulative inches printed by each thermal printer. This data helps schedule preventative maintenance for optimum printer performance.

This is the first ADC product to provide self-reporting of product status. This will be a trend seen in most ADC products and it is this trend setting that earns Media Magician number one.


Tattoo ID from Intergrated Software DesignComing in at number two is Tattoo ID from Intergrated Software Design. Tattoo ID is the first of a new line of products from the company. The product is designed to easily integrate into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as SAP, BAAN, and People Soft. Tattoo ID is Web ready too. It can interface between browser-based applications running over the Internet or intranets for label printing.

The reason I picked this produce is its ability to integrate with web-based browser applications and the attractive and dynamic packaging of the product.


CCD scanners from Barcode Peripheral Center My pick for number three are the family of CCD scanners from Barcode Peripheral Center. This family offers a vibrating function which indicates a good read to an operator working in noisy environments, like factories, or quiet environments, like libraries. The scanners are also available with a unique, touch-sensitive switch that turns the scanner on only when the scanner is being held.

The touchy-feely aspects of this scanner family earns them the number spot.


IV-2000 hand held DataMatrix Verifier from Metanetics Number four is the IV-2000 hand held DataMatrix Verifier from Metanetics. It is the first hand held verifier for DataMatrix symbols. The verifier uses a unique system for self-calibration and visual feedback for positioning the verifier over the symbol. That makes the IV-2000 easy to use. Reporting includes resolution and cell size, dimensional tolerance, reflectivity contrast, print growth, unused error correction, axial non-uniformity, reference decode, and overall symbol grade.

Verifiers usually require careful positioning between the reader and the symbol. The self-calibration system used in the IV-2000 is unique and that’s why it gets number four.


RF-EAS/ID from Checkpoint Systems Coming in at number five is RF-EAS/ID from Checkpoint Systems. RF-EAS/ID uses a passive, low-cost intelligent product tag that can easily be applied using existing source tagging equipment. The paper-thin 2-inch by 2 inch tag incorporates an integrated circuit and Rf antenna. The IC chip stores data and transmits it to an interrogator as it passes through the RF field. An anticollision algorithm allows multiple tags to be read simultaneously. The tag can be placed on product packaging or be embedded into the product. The company demonstrated an automatic checkout system using the tag and a security system that not only indicated that a product was being removed form a store, but identified what the product was.

What earns this product the number five spot is its price, now in the one dollar range and projected to be less than a dollar next year.


WiData Firefly from WiData The number six spot goes to WiData Firefly from WiData, a unique wireless system for locating, tracking and managing high-value supply-chain resources. The Firefly system consists of WiData Resource Management Software and a communications infrastructure of wireless tags, fixed position readers and processors and hand held tag communicator terminals.

Firefly uses tags affixed to the assets and a system of readers located about 200 feet apart. Signals from the readers activate the tags and the time delay in receiving the return signal from the tag is measured. Results from at least three readers allows the system the locate every tag within 10 feet of its location.

It is the unique use of signal propagation delay that earns this product the number six spot.


PalmPilot hand help computer from Symbol Technologies The number seven product is the Symbol PalmPilot hand help computer from Symbol Technologies. The product is based on 3Com’s Palm III architecture. In addition to standard Personal Data Assistant (PDA) features like managing schedules, contacts, and e-mail, the Symbol PalmPilot adds bar code scanning, and wireless communication.

Placing all this functionality into a PDA profile earns this product the number seven spot.

Number Eight - THE ART OF BAR CODE

 code art works The number eight spot goes to Bernard Solco, American painter/sculptor for his "Pop Art" rendition of bar code symbols. "Symbologoy" is a collection of large-scale paintings and limited edition prints, focusing on the many types of bar codes. Solco showcased the giant bar codes in a two part exhibit in Soho, New York City during October 1997 and January 1998.

Solco gets the number eight spot for raising the interest in bar code symbology in a whole new venue.


InfoPen from Symbol Technologies The number nine spot goes to the InfoPen from Symbol Technologies. The InfoPen system includes a standard ink pen with integrated bar code scanning wand and decoder, and the InfoWell docking station, where the wand is placed to upload data to a PC and where the pen is stored when not in use. The pen was developed by Symbol and A.T. Cross and the pen can be refilled with a standard ballpoint cartridge.

The first application of the product is a system that allows consumers to order groceries from their kitchens by simply scanning product bar codes with the InfoPen.

This product gets the number nine spot for expanding the use of bar code technology in to the home.


DCS 300 Data Collection Server from Intermec The number ten spot goes to the DCS 300 Data Collection Server from Intermec. The DCS 300 supports multiple radio technologies such as 400 MHz Synthesized UHF, 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, OpenAir and IEEE 802.11. The system also handles the wired side of the picture well too. It provides support for Ethernet (10-100 Mbps), Token Ring, Twinax, SDLC (up to 1 Mbps) and coax.

Its high flexibility to handle multiple wireless LAN standards and LAN standards gets DCS 300 the number ten spot.

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