A man scanning a box off a conveyor belt

Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC)

By Colm Slattery & Brian Condell

Following on from the previous blog, this blog will take a closer look at Data Capture and how it is used within warehouse logistics. So, what does Data Capture mean?

Data capture is the process of extracting information from physical or digital documents (bar codes, QR codes, etc.) and converting it into a structured format that computers can both read and understand. Data capture can be observed in many places around us, with a simple example being in your local grocery store. When you arrive at the checkout, the cashier scans the bar codes on all the items you wish to purchase. Once the computer knows what you are purchasing it can assign the relevant price to each item on the checkout screen.

 Person barcode scanning

The same data capture technique is used within large warehouses where automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) barcode scanning devices are widely used for real-time inventory tracking within logistics, transportation, and warehouse and retail automation.

Data capture generally begins with the basic operation of scanning a barcode usually using a handheld scanner. To allow for complete flexibility these barcode scanners are battery powered so battery life, correct, and safe charging are paramount to minimize the number of battery swaps required during a worker’s 8- or 12-hour shift. ADI provides industry-leading battery management solutions which will be discussed in a future blog.

 Barcode scanner

Market Needs and Trends for Data Capture

To meet the demands of a resilient and robust supply chain of the future, there needs to be significant capital investment in all areas of warehouse and logistics. Part of this investment will be ensuring that the trend for future scanners is to be smaller, so they can be more portable.

 several small scanning devices

Increased Functionality

Barcode scanners will become more than simple scanners. Technology such as 3D depth sensing will be added to enable features such as object dimensioning, 3D mapping, and augmented reality to become commonplace.

Reduced Form Factor

As systems are getting smarter, higher levels of integration are required to carry out these additional functionalities. These smaller enclosures, in turn, mean that there is less area for circuitry (smaller footprint) so smaller packages with higher levels of integration are required to meet this demand.

 scanning devices

Increased Sustainability

Manufacturers are becoming more energy-conscious and wish to save batteries and reduce thermal dissipation. This leads to new circuits becoming more efficient, using less power, which in turn means they can run for longer on a single charge.

 battery and thermal dissipation

Secure Edge Node

Finally, in handheld devices, battery cloning is a big industry problem, both from a revenue loss perspective and also from a safety perspective. Additional security authentication functions will be added to these systems to both protect people's data but also to reduce battery cloning.  

The Complete System

Today, ADI technologies are enabling automatic data capture applications, which can be leveraged into many logistics automation use cases, from handheld to fixed dimensioning, to sensing and conveying, and even beyond into retail end application use cases. ADI’s industry-leading technology in depth sensing and fast battery charging enables the collection and management of logistics data quickly and securely, bringing unparalleled levels of automation into the field.

 Automatic data capture application

Technologies Leveraged in Data Capture Scanner Devices

Superior Battery Management

ADI’s battery fuel gauges provide an accurate low-temperature state of charge, secure authentication, and internal self-discharge management for battery health monitoring and management. Adding authentication to battery fuel gauges inside the battery packs means that batteries are 100% protected and secure.  

 battery gauge

Accurate Dimensioning and Positioning

Asset Tracking Distance measurement and object detection play a vital role in AIDC devices. ADI’s Industrial Vision technology, which offers 3D depth sensing with 3D point cloud renders to enable accuracy and efficiency in product dimensioning and other 3D use cases.

3D capture


Increased Warranty Protection

Maintain optimal device health and employ a predictive maintenance strategy with the highest g accelerometers that detect shocks and impacts. This also protects the OEM for warranty protection when the user has caused the problem. Learn more in a future blog.

 shocks and impacts

Increased Loudness

Improve the loudness levels for micro speakers with Dynamic Speaker Management (DSM) technology and enable 2x-3x increased loudness with our customer speaker profiling algorithms. As these devices are often used in warehouses and logistics centers which are loud and noisy, they need to have a high-quality audio output. Having custom speaker amplifier tuning optimizes the output noise to the maximum possible without speaker damage or vibration issues. ADI provides state-of-the-art tuning capability in our lab to profile and implement the speaker management functionality.

 Loudness levels

What's Next…

Our next blogs in this series will be a deep dive into the new technologies that are enabling the market needs for next-generation data capture scanner devices. Learn how ADI speaker management technology works to profile and tune microspeakers to enhance loudness, how battery security authentication works, and much more…see the next blog post here.


Webpage: Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC)

Webinar: Logistics Automation: Automatic Data Capture Solutions Enabling Safer, Secure, & Sustainable Solutions

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  • Considering the evolution and increasing sophistication of data capture devices, how do you foresee the balance being maintained between the technological advancements (like 3D depth sensing and augmented reality) and the need for devices to be smaller and more energy-efficient? Additionally, with the introduction of added security features to prevent battery cloning and data breaches, how do you predict these developments will impact the overall cost and affordability of next-generation data capture devices for businesses?