Identification Technologies

Blackroc’s original roots lie in mobile computing and the identification technologies which became embodied into mobile devices in the last 20 years or so.  We have developed many products in this technology space from Laser barcode scanners to CCD imagers to RFID products, always being involved in these technologies at the leading edge of their development.

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RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a key technology in the family of AIDC (Automatic Identification) technologies. It is embodied in several frequencies within the radio part of the EM spectrum, each frequency band with its own distinguishing characteristics. Blackroc are specialist solution providers in RFID. Get in touch to find out more.

What is RFID?

RFID is an acronym for “Radio Frequency Identification”  RFID technology has similarities with Barcode technology where it is scanned and data is gathered, the difference being that barcodes use optical scanning labels and RFID uses radio waves to capture the data from tags – this being one of the key advantages of an RFID system.



Blackroc supply Barcode handhelds (scanners, PDAs etc) and fixed position systems as part of a total systems package. At a product development level, Blackroc Technology’s activity is in the supply and integration of core, module level, barcode scan engines intended for integration into 3rd party handheld or fixed reading devices.

What are barcodes?

From an original idea patented in the USA in 1952 by [Woodland and Silver], barcode really became commercialised in the late 1960s in the USA, driven by two key industries, the Grocery/Food/Supermarket sector and the US railways. Work in the grocery sector eventually resulted in the UPC code which was first used in 1974. (A packet of Wrigleys chewing gum was the very first item to be read ).Since the first use in 1974, the UPC code became extended to include 2 extra digits to become EAN, which is now probably the most widely used code in the world. Barcode really started to be taken up by industry in 1981 when the US Department of Defence adopted Code 39 for the coding of military equipment.

As time went on, further coding systems were developed and today there are a wide range of different symbologies, available to users.

Barcode is the most widely used identification technology in the world and nowadays there can’t be many people on the planet who don’t know what a barcode is. It is a very powerful technology, very cheap to produce with a wide range of scanning and printing equipment available in the market at competitive prices. Blackroc provides a wide range of barcode scanning equipment which you can find in the products section of this website.

Barcodes continued...

There are those who consider that barcode has had it’s day and that RFID tags will soon replace it. This is a very limited view. It is unlikely that barcode will be replaced by RFID certainly for identification at item level, and in the future it is likely that the two technologies will be used side by side, utilising the different strengths of each to suit particular requirements within the same application.  For more information on how barcode systems can be used in your business contact our team of experts on 01785 218530 or email on