Bar code specification: Public review costs $140; auto ID handbook

The trade association AIM Global announces the Public Review Draft of the International Symbology Specification–Ultracode, developed by AIM Global’s Technical Symbology Committee.

By Control Engineering Staff August 21, 2007

Warrendale, PA and Philadelphia, PA —The trade association

AIM Global

announces the

Public Review Draft of the International Symbology Specification–Ultracode

, developed by AIM Global’s Technical Symbology Committee. Opportunity for “public review” ends Sept. 19, 2007; non-members have to pay $140 to see the draft, described as first-of-its-kind, “next generation linear” symbology, incorporating the features of linear and 2D bar codes.

Where typical 2D bar codes contain multiple horizontally read rows, Ultracode is composed of vertical tiles or columns which are read top-down, left-to-right. This is suitable for difficult printing situations and its inherent characteristics enable the symbology to deal with unevenly spaced printing across the symbol. It is also efficient for encoding any natural language and is especially suitable for encoding Chinese.

According to developer Dr. Clive Hohberger of Zebra Technologies, applications for Ultracode could include direct marking on difficult surfaces such as lumber, stone, concrete, rubber, steel coil, and metal fabrications.

Dan Mullen, AIM Global president, says, “Ultracode is a unique code that has been built to support today’s international business environment and withstand incredibly demanding bar code printing environments. I congratulate the symbology committee members for their hard work on this groundbreaking bar code development.”

The public review process ends Sept. 19, 2007. Interested reviewers can download the document for the $140 fee (AIM Global members may download free of charge with a log-in). [What do you think about paying $140 for something described as for “public” review? Share your views by using the Speak Out feature at the bottom of this posting.]

In other news,

Accu-Sort Systems Inc

. announces a

new handbook, Auto ID in the Material Handling Industry, a 36-page overview of different technologies used in auto-ID systems from bar codes to RFID (radio frequency identification)

. It is available in print by calling 1-800-BAR CODE, or in pdf format for downloading from Accu-Sort’s website. The content represents the combined knowledge of the company’s designers and engineers, developers of auto-ID and high-speed compliance solutions for more than 35 years. Each chapter includes a description of the different technologies, their benefits and limitations, and guidelines for designing a system.

Chapters include: Introduction to Bar Code Scanning, an overview of bar codes, laser scanning equipment, decoder operation, and system design considerations; Introduction to Camera Technology, a review of camera basics, comparison of laser and camera capabilities, and system design considerations; and Introduction to RFID, a description of RFID technology, comparisons between bar code and RFI capabilities, and how to implement a system.

—Edited by Barb Axelson, contributing editor Control Engineering Weekly News(

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