Automatic Identification and Data Capture


Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) is a technology used to automatically collect data from an object, item, or individual directly into a computer system or machine, without human intervention. AIDC technologies include barcode scanners, biometrics, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), optical character recognition, and voice recognition, among others. These technologies are usually applied to enhance efficiency, reduce data errors, and speed up the processing time in business operations.


ɔːˈtɒmətɪk ˌaɪdɛntɪfɪˈkeɪʃən ænd ˈdeɪtə ˈkæptʃər

Key Takeaways

  1. Improved Efficiency and Accuracy: Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technologies streamline and automate the data collection process, reducing human errors and increasing operational efficiency.
  2. Variety of Technologies: There are numerous types of AIDC, including barcodes, RFID (radio frequency identification), biometrics, voice recognition, and optical character recognition. This allows flexibility in implementing the right system for specific operational needs.
  3. Real-time Visibility and Traceability: AIDC provides real-time information on inventory, assets, and individuals. This enhances traceability, personal identification, and helps organizations make informed decisions quickly.


Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) is important as it represents the technology used to track, identify, collect, and process data without requiring manual data entry. This includes technologies such as barcodes, radio frequency identification (RFID), biometrics, and voice recognition. The significance of AIDC lies in its ability to provide accurate and efficient data management. It eliminates human error in data collection and entry, thereby improving data integrity, and it speeds up processes, enhancing productivity. Furthermore, it allows for real-time tracking and identification which is essential in various sectors like supply chain management, healthcare, and retail. This technology provides an effortless way of sustaining data quality, security, and aiding businesses in decision-making.


Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) is a crucial technology in inventory management and logistics because it serves the purpose of swiftly and accurately collecting, storing, and processing data. Its functionalities make it possible to automatically identify objects, gather data about them, and enter that data directly into computer systems without human intervention. It eliminates the need for manual data entry, thereby reducing errors and increasing the speed of data capture, which contributes greatly to efficiency and productivity in many industries.Foremost among its uses, AIDC is employed to keep track of goods in industries such as retail, warehousing, and logistics. Barcodes and RFID tags, which are a part of AIDC technologies, are attached to items, allowing for real-time tracking and data collection. This results in accurate inventory control and visibility, hence reducing the likelihood of lost or misplaced goods. In a broader application, it also supports quality control, by ensuring the right goods are at the right place and at the right time. Utilized in other contexts, such as healthcare, AIDC can track patient information, medications, and medical equipment to enhance patient safety and efficiency.


1. Barcoding in Supermarkets: One of the most common real-world examples of Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) is the barcoding system used in supermarkets and stores. Barcodes contain vital information about each product including its price, manufacturer, and a unique identification code. When scanned at the checkout counter, this data is automatically captured and processed, making the checkout process much faster and efficient compared to manual entry.2. RFID in Asset Tracking: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is another example of AIDC. This technology is used for tracking assets in various sectors, including logistics, libraries, and hospitals. For example, an RFID tag attached to a library book contains data about the book and its location. When the book passes by an RFID scanner, the system automatically identifies the item and captures the data, updating the library’s computer system.3. Facial Recognition Systems: Facial recognition technology is a sophisticated form of AIDC that’s used for security purposes, such as at airports or in smartphones for unlocking devices. A person’s facial features are mapped out and digitized into data, which is then compared against a stored database for identification. For example, the iPhone’s Face ID feature captures thousands of data points on a user’s face to automatically identify them and unlock the phone.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC)?A: AIDC refers to the methods of automatically identifying objects, collecting data about them, and entering that data directly into computer systems, without human involvement. Examples of AIDC technologies include barcodes, magnetic stripes, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), biometrics, etc.Q: How does AIDC work?A: AIDC works by utilizing one of its various technologies (e.g., barcodes, RFID) to capture, identify, and record essential information from objects or people automatically. This information can then be stored and processed as needed.Q: Where is AIDC applied?A: AIDC is widely applied across several sectors such as retail for inventory management, transportation for tracking goods, healthcare for patient identification and drug authentication, manufacturing for process control, among many others.Q: Why is AIDC important?A: AIDC increases efficiency, reduces human error in data gathering and management, enhances real-time data availability, and improves overall tracking capabilities of goods or people, which is vital for many industries. Q: Is AIDC secure?A: While AIDC technologies inherently possess a degree of security, like any technology, they are susceptible to breaches if not properly protected. It is crucial to pair AIDC technologies with robust security measures to ensure data integrity and confidentiality.Q: What are some examples of AIDC technologies?A: Barcodes, RFID tags, QR codes, smart cards, and biometrics (like fingerprint recognition or facial recognition) are examples of AIDC technologies.Q: What is the difference between RFID and Barcode, two types of AIDC technologies?A: Both are used for data capture and identification, but while a barcode requires direct line-of-sight and usually reads one item at a time, an RFID tag does not require direct line-of-sight and can read multiple tags simultaneously.Q: How expensive is it to implement AIDC in a business?A: The cost varies widely based on the type of technology used, the scale of implementation, necessary software and hardware, and other factors. While initial setup costs can be significant, the efficiency and accuracy AIDC brings can often provide a good return on investment. Q: What are the limitations of AIDC?A: While AIDC has numerous benefits, it also has limitations. These include potential difficulties in scanning due to physical barriers or interference, data security concerns, and potential high initial setup costs.

Related Technology Terms

  • Barcodes
  • Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Magnetic Stripe Cards
  • Smart Cards

Sources for More Information

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