Radio frequency transmission has been with us since Guglielmo Marconi first demonstrated wireless communications a century ago. Within 30 to 40 years of Marconi’s discovery, radios had become a fixture in nearly every U.S. household. However, it has been only within the last half-dozen years that wireless data transmission has come into its own in a business environment.
RFDC first appeared in warehouses and distribution centers as an enabling technology for automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) implementations, where hardwiring was unfeasible and/or real-time updating of the host database was critical. Early applications typically ran on PCs or controllers, scattered throughout a facility, which were interfaced to what was essentially a batch-oriented host. Those early systems were costly, quirky, and limited in transaction processing. However, they often made automated data capture a reality in environments where hard-wired systems were impossible. Further, RFDC offered certain advantages over hard-wired AIDC systems — interactivity and real-time updates of inventory, shipments, or manufacturing applications — that companies could turn to their own competitive advantage.
Technology improvements kept pace with RFDC’s steady growth, so that present-day RFDC-based systems provide powerful, sophisticated, and reliable wireless solutions for a wide variety of both local-area and wide-area networked applications.
Five frequently cited benefits to using Radio Frequency Data Communication are increased database accuracy at all times, reduced paperwork, real-time operations, higher productivity, and shorter order response times.