Making Products Smarter

Making Products Smarter

Smart labels are making a lot of products and material handling applications smarter all the time. Recently Escort Memory Systems (EMS), a supplier of RFID technologies, and Zebra Technologies, manufacturer of bar code printing equipment, announced an alliance in which the two parties will combine efforts to promote I-CODE-based smart label solutions.

EMS’s FastTrack RFID readers use Philips Semiconductors’ I-CODE technology, creating some of the longer-range RFID tag readers. Current applications include identifying pallets and tracking U.S. Priority Mail packages.

Using Zebra’s R-140 printer, users can print bar code symbols and human readable characters on smart labels while simultaneously encoding the I-CODE chips.

What is I-CODE?

Smart labeling is the latest RFID technology combining the advantages of bar code, electronic article surveillance (EAS) and traditional RFID solutions. Designed to serve mass markets with many millions of labels needed per year, Philips Semiconductors’ I-CODE integrated circuits represent the state-of-the-art in smart label technology, offering a low-cost, re-programmable and disposable solution for source tagging, automatic data capture, theft protection and data storage on a product or its packaging.

These smart labels allow almost any item to be tagged for efficient handling. I-CODE’s highly automated item scanning process does not require line-of-sight and can scan multiple labels at the same time. The integrated circuits can also store a digital signature, enabling proof of genuineness and preventing goods from being counterfeited. ADF

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