Automatic Identification and Data Capture

What Does Automatic Identification and Data Capture Mean?

Automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) refers to the method used to identify objects through computing algorithms. For example, bar codes, radio-frequency identification (RFID), biometrics, magnetic strips, optical character recognition (OCR), smart cards and voice recognition technologies all include algorithms identifying objects captured using a still image capturing system, audio or video.


Techopedia Explains Automatic Identification and Data Capture

AIDC algorithms compare captured data to other files stored in a database. The digital comparison and identification process does not work at 100 percent similarity because of certain factors (primarily noise).

AIDC is critical because it saves a great deal of time when entering digital data and its accuracy translates into reliability. For example OCR technology realized success rates exceeding 99 percent, making AIDC more reliable than data entry, which always includes the possibility of human error.

Other digital data entry keyboard methods do not always work for image, video or audio data, which make AIDC the only method of entering data for further digital processing.

RFID is the newest identification method among all automated technologies. It provides the digital computing system with the ability to identify moving objects, thus requiring an extremely high processing speed.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.