In today’s highly technical environment, where technology is evolving at a pace that even the most aware find challenging, one has to wonder what the big deal is about an item as “old school” as a basic identification card. Perceptions about the standard ID card often overlook the crucial role identification plays in today’s educational and business environment. Blurry outdated photos, difficult to read text and outdated technology have built an inconvenient image of an ineffective solution which some may feel is irrelevant to the high levels of security needed in today’s marketplace.
It’s no secret that identification is a vital aspect of an organization’s integrity and security. ID cards provide credentialing, access control and a convenient tool for onsite services. Businesses, educational campuses, and organizations want to protect themselves, streamline operations and build a sense of relationship and identity.
The good news is that today’s technology has kept up with the escalating requirements needed to meet the demands placed on organizations. No longer is an ID card a simple “proof of belonging”, but it now provides a multi-layered, integrated approach to an organization’s operational structure.
As basic as it may seem, the ability to visually identify an individual ranks high in the list of the benefits of any ID Card System. Clear colorful print, variable data and unique identification marks such as logos, titles and credentials provide instant recognition and association – no devices or external technology required. The addition of unique holograms and overlays provide an extra layer of security while also adding to the durability of the card.
Storage of more complex or sensitive information can be added to an ID card System. Encoding technologies provide the ability to store information directly on a card or link a card to a secure database of information. Technologies such as magnetic stripe encoding and contact and contactless encoding provide organizations the ability to store data directly on the card while variable numbering, barcoding and QR codes provide the ability to link a specific card to stored data. This information is then translated into a useable format by way of a specific device or reader. Many quality ID card printers provide the option for inline encoding of all of these technologies.
The Barcode has evolved to provide a diverse range of information to the user. In its basic form, a barcode is a visual, machine-readable representation of data. Standard, 2D, and QR codes have become the norm for many applications. Printed as an image on an ID card, the barcode is essentially a code of information, represented by varied widths and spacing of parallel lines. Matrix or 2D codes use dots, hexagons, and other geometric patterns. QR codes, a variation of the 2D code, include a wider range of applications including product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, and general marketing. Barcodes are readable by optical scanners and, with the correct application software, smartphones. It is important to ensure that your ID card printer provides crisp clear print to ensure readability of the intricate patterns of a barcode.
- Magnetic Stripe
Magnetic recording of digital data stores data by altering the magnetism of iron-based particles on a band of magnetic material on the card. Two levels of coercivity (or strength) are commonly used. LoCo magnetic stripes are often used for short-term use such as hotel cards and can be erased and re-encoded multiple times. HiCo cards require a higher amount of magnetic energy to encode and are harder to erase. Often used to store user information such as name, address, and other data, the information is encoded directly to the card on various tracks, which are read using a specialized reader device. Mammoth ID provides high quality, made in USA, magnetic stripe cards.
- Contact and Contactless Technology
Smart cards use embedded integrated circuitry. Both contact and contactless technology utilize microchip technology, which provides the ability store, write and read information to and from the chip. As the name suggestions, contact, or smart chip cards require direct contact with a reader/writer and can store and record a large variety of information. Contactless cards contain not only a storage component but also an internal antenna. A radio frequency signal is used to communicate when in proximity to an NFC (Near Field Communication) card reader.
How an organization chooses to utilize the technology available in an ID card is almost limitless. From controlling access to providing authorized use of equipment – even cafeteria account management – there are many applications to consider. Software and Applications provide additional security and functionality.
No longer is the ID card a single use item. It has truly evolved into a multi-purpose tool that brings increased value to your organization.
Mammoth ID believes that you deserve an ID card solution that fits your specific needs. Systems and solutions that underperform – or alternatively have more bells and whistles than are needed – cannot be considered an effective answer.
Give us a call, or send us an email to request a No-Pressure consultation. We know our industry, and we can help you identify what is important for your organization. Let Mammoth ID do the heavy work, and give you the information you need to make the right decision for your ID card system.