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Newsletter: AIM Connections - Bar Code Standards: Oh, Don't Bother - 15 Jun 11
15 June 2011


* Editorial - Bar Code Standards: Oh, Don't Bother
* Regulatory Alert - FDA Bar Code Rule Under Review
* Don't Miss Your Best Opportunity This Year
- AIM Expo Registration Member Discounts and Specials
* AIM News
- AIM Welcomes New Members
- Member Benefit of the Month: RFP Service
* In Memoriam - Alan Haberman
* Industry News
- AIDC / Bar Code
- Biometrics / Card Technologies
- Mobile / mCommerce / Wireless
* Events of Interest

Note: some URLs do not begin with "www" or are too long to fit on a single line and therefore are not active -- please cut-and-paste the full URL into your browser.

Read the issue online at:


Bar Code Standards: Oh, Don't Bother

Bert Moore

It's so much easier to blame someone else than to actually read the standard

A recent article in a retail-oriented publication claimed that the use of GS1 DataBar(tm) on coupons would likely lead to more coupon fraud in the short term. Why is that the case? Purportedly it's because some of the manufacturers printing GS1 DataBar symbols on coupons aren't complying with GS1 standards, resulting in such variability in the expiration date format that the expiration date field is, according to the article, "unusable for practical applications".

This is not good. But who is to blame? According to one source quoted in the article, part of the problem lies squarely with GS1, supposedly "for making its standards so complex and expensive to acquire that manufacturers would rather guess at what a proper coupon looks like than pay a consultant."

They'd rather guess? Access to GS1 standards is free to companies that have a GS1 vendor ID. But even if there were a separate fee for the standards, why would a manufacturer even want to try to "guess" what the proper data format should be? And, if coupon fraud is so costly, what is the cost of fraud compared to the cost of hiring a consultant?

Read more:

=========================== (SPONSOR) ===========================

This issue is sponsored by:

Datalogic is a world-class producer of bar code readers, data collection mobile computers, RFID and vision systems. The AIDC industry is fast-paced and dynamic, requiring a company to be committed to the needs of this business. Datalogic is that company. Visit us on the web at:

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REGULATORY ALERT: FDA Bar Code Rule Under Review
Updating Regulations In Recognition Of Changing Technology
Posted May 31, 2011

FDA?s Bar Code Rule
The comment period closes 30 June 2011, after which HHS will finalize its Plan.

[Excerpt from FDA announcement]

"FDA has been considering which economically significant rule to subject to a cost-benefit reassessment and has tentatively concluded that the ?Bar Code Rule? is the best candidate for this review. The Bar Code Rule dates from February 2004 and requires certain human drug and biological products to have on their labels a linear bar code that contains, at a minimum, the drug's NDC number. The rule also requires the use of machine-readable information on blood and blood component labels.

"The goal to the review will be to assess the costs and benefits and to determine if the rule should be modified to take into account changes in technology that have occurred since the rule went into effect."

The significance of the announcement is the recognition that machine-readable technologies have advanced since the initial rule was approved in February 2004 (the original draft rule was published in 2002). Both RFID and two-dimensional (2D) symbols have attracted significant attention and support within the pharmaceutical industry since then.

The FDA has recently published Draft Guidance allowing vaccine manufacturers to apply for an exemption to the Bar Code Rule in order to use Data Matrix on vaccines since many of them come in pre-loaded syringes that cannot be effectively marked with linear symbologies. A number of individuals have expressed their hope that this announcement signals the opportunity to review the use of 2D symbols on all pharmaceutical products. Although it is not explicitly stated, it is likely that the FDA is also gauging interest in RFID since the FDA has already approved the International Society on Blood Transfusion's (ISBT) use of 13.56 MHz RFID on blood bags.

In the fall of 2010, AIM, GS1 US and others offered strong arguments in favor of adopting 2D technology in their respective responses addressing "[Draft] Guidance for Industry: Bar Code Label Requirements?Questions and Answers (Question 12 Update)?. As one well-regarded AIDC commentator put it, "It is not unreasonable to believe the FDA's decision to formally review the Bar Code Rule was influenced in no small measure by these comments."

The FDA has shown that it is responsive to comments from industry. It is therefore imperative that any company with an interest in pharmaceutical coding and marking regulations review the announcement and SEND COMMENTS TO THE FDA BY THE DEADLINE OF 30 JUNE 2011.

Note: the announcement does not include contact information. We are in the process of getting that information and, if you wish to submit comments and do not have FDA/HHS contact information, please e-mail us ( and we will pass it on when we have it.

AIM member companies are encouraged to submit individual comments but also to copy the AIM office ( so that AIM can offer the AIDC industry's input.

Related links:
Full FDA announcement:
AIM's 2010 comments on the Draft Label Guidelines:
All 2010 comments on the Draft Label Guidelines:!searchResults;rpp=10;po=0;s=FDA+D-0426



Make plans now to exhibit and attend AIM Expo 2011. The annual live event provides a comprehensive range of education and hands-on experience with automatic ID and mobile IT solutions for government, healthcare, manufacturing, mobile workforce, packaging and retail. Additionally, AIM has added tracks about the Internet of Things and International presentations to provide the global view for attendees.

When: September 26-28, 2011
Where: Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, NV, USA

NEW -- AIM Theater Registered exhibitors have the opportunity to book time to announce their latest solution! Space is limited; inquire today. Contact Carrie Brooks at 888-816-9249 for your space.

If you offer bar code, RFID, enterprise mobile computing or related technology solutions, this is your event! With a target audience of end users that includes over 20,000 Pack Expo attendees, it?s your opportunity to engage an expanded audience in discussions about the role of AIM solutions in business processes.


Exhibit space and sponsorships are available, and booth assignments are being made in order of request. For an Exhibitor Prospectus, please contact Carrie Brooks at 888-816-9249. AIM Members receive significant discounts and exclusive opportunities for sponsorships! Act now while space is available.

Registration is open! AIM Member registration discounts offered!

AIM is proud to announce the current sponsors for the event:
* BlueStar
* Datalogic
* Motorola

Make plans now to be a part of your industry event! Visit the event website here:

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This issue is sponsored by:

Barcodesoft is one of the leading suppliers of Auto-ID, bar code, RFID, and OCR solutions. We invite you to explore our world. Click here to preview our online bar code maker:

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AIM Welcomes New Members

AIM is pleased to announce that two more leading companies have joined AIM.

* Beijing Ren Ju Zhi Hui Technology Co. Ltd., Beijing, China
* SecureRF Corporation, Westport, CT, USA


Member Benefit of the Month: RFP Service

Are you missing out on significant business opportunities?

Generating leads takes time and effort. Wouldn't it be nice if business just came knocking on your door? In fact, it does.

As an AIM member, you have access to one of the most heavily visited pages on the AIM website, the RFP Service where companies looking for automatic identification and mobility products and services post their business needs, project budget and contact information. All RFP requests are carefully reviewed before they're posted to ensure that they're legitimate opportunities and provide you with the information you need to make an informed response.

In conjunction with another leading industry resource, the online Buyer's Guide, the RFP Service gives potential customers and partners a direct link to your company's products and services. And it provides a convenient way for them to summarize their business challenges for your review.

RFPs are sent electronically to the sales contact and company delegate of AIM member companies based on the information you provide in the Buyer's Guide [so make sure your listing is up-to-date]. For full details of each RFP, log in to the Members RFP Database. The leads are searchable by technology and geographic region.

AIM's RFP Service provides a unique opportunity for AIM members around the world to retrieve sales leads simply by logging on and going to the Member section. So don't miss this great opportunity for qualified sales leads. Make it a habit to regularly review the RFPs that are being submitted.

Recent submissions have resulted in significant business wins for those companies paying attention!

Log in to the Members RFP Database:

Link to Buyer's Guide:
[Log in to the Member page to complete or update your listing:]


IN MEMORIAM: Alan Haberman

On 12 June 2011, Alan D. Haberman, one of the pioneers and guiding figures in bar codes and automatic identification, passed away.

In the early 1970?s Haberman served as Chairman of the Symbol Selection Subcommittee of the Ad Hoc Committee for a Grocery Code when the U.P.C. code, symbol and system were born and the foundation of the Uniform Code Council was put in place.

As a member of the Board of Governors of the Uniform Code Council since its formation in 1974, he helped to provide strategic guidance to the standardization and adoption of bar coding across industries, globally.

Mr. Haberman also served on numerous industry and civic boards. He was Chairman of sub committee 31 (SC 31) on Automatic Identification and Data Capture Techniques of the Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) on Information Technology. He acted for the Uniform Code Council in the creation of the MIT Auto-ID Research Center which was inaugurated in November of 1999 and acted as its Chairman Pro Tem for the first 17 months of its existence.

Mr. Haberman received numerous awards and recognitions for his work in the AIDC industry including AIM's Percival Award in 2000 and Dilling Award in 2006 respectively. He was also recognized as a pioneer in advancing bar code technology by his election to the AIDC 100.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in his memory may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association of MA/NH, 311 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472.

Related links:

Official obituary:
[You can leave a message of condolence and make a contribution to the Alzheimer's Association if you wish.]
Haberman's AIDC 100 profile:
AIM Connections Interview of Haberman as AIM's 2006 Dilling Award Honoree:
AIM Awards page:

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This issue is sponsored by:
RFP Service

No project is too complex for AIM member companies to solve. Submit an RFP to engage industry-leading vendors as your business partners for your next bar code, RFID or mobile computing project. Click here to submit an RFP:

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Don't have time to check all the alerts and news releases for items of interest? AIM Connections does it for you.
For a listing of some of the more interesting articles and news items for the past month, please click the appropriate heading below.

AIDC / Bar Code News Summary
A listing of some of the more interesting news and announcements for the past month related to bar codes, 2D codes, and other AIDC topics including vision and voice (speech) systems.

Biometrics / Card Technologies News Summary
A listing of some of the more interesting news and announcements for the past month related to biometrics and card technologies.

Mobile / m-Commerce / Wireless News Summary
A listing of some of the more interesting news and announcements for the past month related to mobile computing and wireless technology.


For current news about RFID, please visit the website. Check the News link ( on a regular basis and consider signing up for the RSS feed ( to have headlines delivered to your desktop. To stay current, subscribe to AIM's "RFID Connections" e-newsletter (



AIDC Summer Institute
July 10-15, 2011
Ohio University
Athens, OH, USA

Ohio University?s Automatic Identification & Data Capture Lab will be holding its 23nd annual Automatic Identification and Data Capture Technical Institute in July 2011.

Sessions throughout the week cover numerous topics and include approximately eight hours of hands-on lab activities. During hands-on time, participants interact and experiment with many of the technologies that are discussed within the different sessions. As a result, attendees leave with a better understanding of why AIDC technologies are used as well as how they can be utilized for their own needs.

For more information and to register, visit us online:


AIM Expo 2011
September 26-28, 2011
Las Vegas Hilton
Las Vegas, NV, USA

Member Discount -- Exhibit and Attendee

The AIM Expo has engaged the leading end users and industry experts for a complete showcase of bar code, RFID, RTLS, and mobile computing solutions available today.

Hear the latest in Government, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Mobile Workforce, Packaging and Retail, as well as General Session speakers that include the analysts and Dow Chemical. Participate in the exhibit hall, and enjoy the Pack Expo hall, too, all for one price!

Registration is now open. The Exhibitor and Sponsor prospectus is also available; send an email to for a copy. The conference program is currently under construction and should be ready within the next few weeks.

Don't forget to submit your nominations for the AIM Industry Awards -- submission forms are available online at Deadline for submission is June 30, 2011.

AIM Expo website:


Highway to Security & Success
A Frost & Sullivan Executive Summit on AIDC Industry
July 13, 2011
Hyatt Regency
New Delhi, INDIA

The Automatic Identification and Data Capture market in India is fast emerging as a significant contributor towards helping organizations manage their operational efficiencies effectively. High-end AIDC technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID), biometrics and smart cards help both Government and Private sector enterprises in realizing their objectives, whether in security systems, track and trace solutions, or personnel identification. For details about this one-day event, visit the website:


August 15-17, 2011
Miami Beach, FL, USA

VARTECH is a combination educational conference and trade show that unites the industry value-added resellers, manufacturers, and the BlueStar team in a constructive forum that enables resellers to cultivate rewarding relationships with hardware manufacturers, software solution providers, and service partners.

For more information, visit the website:

For information on other AIDC events, please visit the AIM Calendar:


Reproduction of any material requires written permission from the publisher and author(s). All opinions and facts expressed in the AIM newsletter, unless otherwise stated, are solely the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions of AIM Inc., its partners, chapters, or sponsors. All content copyright (c) 2011 AIM Inc.
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21 December 2011 AIM Connections - Mobile Computing: Centralizing De-centralized Computing? - 21 Dec 11
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