AIM Expo 2011 Offers Educational Opportunities for the Auto ID Industry

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Imagine a visual pattern recognition technology originally created for use by the military that has been adapted for a grocery and retail environment. Or using automatic identification techniques to support inventory control in space.

These are just two of more than 50 presentations given by industry experts over the past three days at the AIM Expo 2011, headquartered at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sponsored by the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM), the combination educational and promotional event brought together over 500 registered conference attendees, including visitors from China, Germany and the Netherlands.

This year, AIM joined forces with the Pack Expo, one of the longest running exhibitions within the packaging market. The conferences were co-located, offering participants entry to both exhibit halls with a badge from either event.

Highlights of the event include the following:

(1) Presentation of a new two-dimensional matrix symbology called the Han Xin Code, designed specifically to encode ideographic characters as used in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese languages. The symbology has already been applied in China as part of a disease screening management system.

(2) More information about a growing initiative in the retail apparel industry dedicated to quantifying the benefits of item-level RFID with the goal of improving business practices and fostering a new supply chain efficiency.

Billed as an educational opportunity for newcomers to the field, the Expo provides a venue for participants to further explore and learn about a host of Auto ID technologies such as bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), real time locating systems (RTLS) and other emerging applications. The Expo features multiple tracks including government, healthcare, packaging, manufacturing, retail, mobile workforce and the Internet of things, along with some international viewpoints and an exhibit hall featuring over 40 industry vendors.

On Monday, attendees gathered in the morning to get the perspective of analysts on trends in automatic identification and mobile computing. Presentations filled the day along with the opening of the exhibit hall. The evening was capped off with a celebration of the recipients of the annual AIM industry awards during a reception and dinner event.

Sessions continued bright and early on Tuesday, featuring a general session showing how Dow Chemical harnessed various tools in the Auto ID toolbox to improve work processes across a global company. More presentations followed, including a talk by Alec Hudnut of Evolution Robotics showing how the company’s visual pattern recognition (ViPR) technology was harnessed to identify retail items without reading the bar code.

AIM Expo participants also had the opportunity to hear a keynote address delivered by former Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell, as he presented the Pack Expo Leadership Lecture entitled “Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust and Values.

The conference wraps up on Wednesday with a general session on emerging technologies in automatic ID and data capture (AIDC). Participants will also hear about global technology developments and market trends in near field communications (NFC)


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