When someone asked me, “How was AIM Expo?” I immediately replied, “It was like getting the band back together.” This kind of attendance from veteran auto ID professionals and practitioners is exactly what the rebirth of this industry event needed. There was a level of excitement that I hadn’t seen at an auto ID conference in years.

That said, the show has a tremendous amount of room to grow in showcasing various auto ID “pieces of the puzzle” –technology components from mobile computers, to RFID tags, to UID solutions. And of course there is room to showcase the completed “puzzle” by the industry’s solution providers.

What has changed since the auto ID shows from over a decade ago? Of course suppliers of RFID, bar code readers, printers, and verifiers were demonstrating increasingly sophisticated capability. And integrators were outlining methodologies for integrating the newest technologies. But the biggest change is the consistent, reliable use of the internet as an enterprise software delivery platform and the ubiquitous use of wireless, connected devices such as smart phones. These “game changers” will bring new life and tremendous benefit to the utility of auto ID for many years to come.

Back to AIM Expo: We noticed that many technology providers were not present, but that is understandable as there was limited space in the exhibit hall. In the future, I can easily imagine two or three times the number of companies representing auto ID technologies.