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AIM Fall newsgroup 2014: NFC hype of the iPhone 6, the future of iBeacons, AutoID 3.0 and the DataMa

Twice a year all members of the organization of automatic identification, data capturing and mobile data communication (AIM-D) meet up and report about their activities and current topics of the AutoID industry. At the autumn newsgroup from the 15th to the 17th of October in cologne, supported by PANMOBIL, it was about the essential, the future of the automatic data capturing.


iPhone 6 NFC-hype: Exciting application scenarios are in the B2B segments

The new iPhone 6 with the new NFC chip

“Without the right end user the NFC in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus won’t really rev up in Germany”, Jörg Schmidt of Infineon Technologies determines, while he presents current results of his working group NFC (Near field communication) to the AIM members. “ At this point NFC has an enormous coolness factor, but it lacks uniform payment systems, a reasonable integration of coupons or member cards – the end user doesn’t really know what to do with NFC”, Schmidt reports further. The real exciting application areas of NFC are in the B2B segment, wherefore his team currently has drawn up recommendations for all the things NFC can be used for, how you can use effectively the detail data structure on the NFC chips and which tags actually suit the application field of NFC. The results run in the current NFC-Whitepaper. “The main question is why in Germany we aren’t able to transform technologies like NFC , whose foundations were invented here with us to money and projects? Why are the Americans always able to do so?”, Nikolas Beutin from PWC in the accompanying lecture program of the fall newsgroup asks. So far in the fields of mobile payments and mobile wallet 3- digit million amounts has been invested, but here in Germany no one really tells us, what technologies like NFC in the payment process actually accomplishes. The German empathy to accept the new technology is still missing while other countries like Great Britain and the United States already understand the advantages of it. “15 years ago most people hesitate to pay with their credit cards on the internet, that was to doubtful for the most people, Beutin tells us. “Now paying by credit card on the internet is established and the same will develop with payments by smart phones – in a few years nobody ask about the safety or sense of this system it will be established.” Essential advantages of NFC are: the replacement of old payment systems. Today’s problems like: Carrying no cash, cashier too slow, communication problems abroad – all of this won’t exist in the future. In the future mobile wallets won’t only be good for payments, it also will be good for member cards and coupons. At the latest when all other countries will be able to pay with NFC, then the demand in Germany will to follow. But until then a little more time passes through the country. In the room everybody agrees to one thing today: the exiting applications of NFC are located in the industry. Therefore processes could be more reasonable like changing your winter tires or managing medical recipes. Apple pay in the consumer field is not at the top of using the NFC technology.

Peter Schmidt, PANMOBIL about the future of the System Integration

AutoID 3.0 - the engine for all future System Integrations

“AutoID, meaning RFID and barcode all of it is a fantastic technology”, Peter Schmidt from PANMOBIL determines in his opening speech. “But most companies especially small companies shrink from the introduction , because they are afraid of the high investment and follow-up costs! This can’t be happening anymore.” It is not a problem to buy barcode scanner, Schmidt believes, you can find those in every corner of the internet, especially now at the beginning of the inventory phase. The main problem is, when you start to work with it, how does the captured data transfer for example to the merchandize managing system or to the staff who evaluates the data? It is most likely that you need to buy a software additional to the scanner, with which the data will be transferred from the scanner to the computer. And if that is not enough, the suitable interface also needs to be programmed for the scanner to actually transfer the data somewhere. To end this big “investment pain” due to technology the cologne AutoID developer PANMOBIL offers Barcode and RFID scanner, which transfer independently the captured coding data without any user intervention or any interposed computer. The user basically need to connect the scanner with the available Wi-Fi network to the internet and the data will be send immediately to the location where they are supposed to be sent to. The software which implements this simple connection is called EMMware with SCOUTtechnology and is supposed to put an end to difficult system integration. Günther Trautzl from ICS sees it similar, who tells us about the AIM team SI (system integration). The interface to transfer AutoID data to merchandize managing systems needs to be simplified and facilitated. Therefore this team works together with the OPC foundation – - on a specification of a software standard, which will be published under the description Companion Standard on the industry fairy in Hanover in 2015. That is supposed to be the USB stick for the software integration, Trautzl says.

Foundation for a complete new DataMatrix – Code

The new colored ultra code

About the field ORM (Optical Readable Media) Wolfgang Weber from Pepperl+Fuchs talks about a revolution. The creation of a rectangular DataMatrix - Code. Background is a requirement of the pharmaceutical industry. Here the serial number of pharmaceuticals with their pharmaceutical central number (PZN) needs to be in one DataMatrix – code. Previous DataMatrix – codes don’t have enough space on the pharmaceutical packaging. Well now there are 13 new rectangular formats to pass by this problem. Up to 175 alphanumerical data can be save on the new rectangular DataMatrix – Code, on the old one only 60 could be saved. Trend outlook for the future development: in the future there will be a complete new DataMatrix standard. Weber also introduces two new code types, with which the AutoID field will be dealing with in the future: the Han Xin Code and the ultra code. The ultra code has the specialty that color fields can be evaluated. The classical industry scanner don’t have a color camera. This code leads to many application possibilities through the interpretation of colors. As well for smart phones which already possess a color camera.

Beacons/iBeacons – soon similar destiny like RFID

“Summed up Beacons (Android) and iBeacons (Apple) are based on Bluetooth wireless technology, which can contact software in the smart phone without starting up a specific App”, Bernd Gruber from starts his lecture about the current application of the new trend technology. Through this localization technology for example smart phones can be tracked by the visitors of a booth to see which part of the booth is more of their interest. Or “Automatic Mapping”: through an intelligent network of several beacons, inside area maps can be automatically applied, without measuring the premises. He uses the airport in San Francisco as an example for the advantages. “Such an airport is a 365 days construction site, there the premises change frequently, because they need to be adapted to the new requirements. With beacons the Mapping works automatic and live.” With this technology you can also implement smart phone based guides for blind people for example. The current problem is: Beacons are a hype at this point, everybody wants to jump on this running board of the new technology. Therefore there are a lot of manufacturer, who manufacture low quality beacons and harm the reputation of the technology. “Let’s take a look how the beacons will develop,” says the AIM-D CEO Frithjof Walk from FEIG Electronics in the end of the event. “We already participated a similar hype with the introduction of the RFID technology, in the end there were only a few left from many providers who used the technology profitable.”

More AutoID news you will find frequently in the PANMOBIL newsletter


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