Use this reference guide as a tool to help with some of the basic terms used in mobile technology.

  • Access Point
    A network device that bridges a radio frequency network to a hard-wired network.
  • Aspect Ratio
    In a bar code symbol, the ratio of bar height to symbol length.
  • Authenticated access
    Access to data that is allowed only after the user has been identified by a password or other security measure.
  • Back-office
    Internal corporate functions, such as accounting/billing, purchasing, etc.
  • Bar
    The darker element of a printed bar code symbol.
  • Barcode
    An automatic identification technology that encodes information into an array of adjacent varying width parallel rectangular bars and spaces.
  • Barcode Character
    A single group of bars and spaces that represents a specific number (sometimes only one) of numbers, letters, punctuation marks or other symbols. This is the smallest subset of a bar code symbol that contains data.
  • Barcode Density
    The number of data characters that can be represented in a linear unit of measure. Bar code density is often expressed in characters per inch.
  • Barcode Label
    A label that carries a bar code symbol and is suitable to be affixed to an article.
  • Barcode Reader
    A device used to read a bar code symbol.
  • Barcode Symbol
    A combination of bar code characters (including start/stop characters, quiet zones, data characters and check characters required by a particular symbology), that forms a complete, scannable entity.
  • Bar Height
    See Bar Length
  • Bar Length
    The bar dimension perpendicular to the bar width. Also called bar height
  • Bar Width
    The thickness of a bar measured from the edge closest to the symbol start character to the trailing edge of the same bar.
  • Bar Width Reduction
    Reduction of the nominal bar width dimension on film masters or printing plates to compensate for systematic errors in some printing processes. Bar width reduction can have positive or negative values.
  • Cradle
    A stand that holds a handheld device in an upright position to allow work on a desktop and initiate synchronization with a PC.
  • Custom applications
    Software installed on a device that was not part of its original package (or suite) of applications and that has been developed for a specific job or industry (e.g., hospital data).
  • Data sharing
    Transferring and updating data among devices and/or the network.
  • Encryption
    A security measure that “scrambles” data so it is unreadable until an approved user is authorized to access it.
  • Enterprise
    The combination of employees, communication devices, and data available within an organization.
  • GUI
    Graphical User Interface
  • Handhelds
    Communication devices that fit in one’s hand or palm.
  • Infrared
    A method for transferring data between devices using infrared (line-of-sight) technology instead of cables or other wired connections.
  • Infrastructure
    The matrix of operating systems, software, support, security measures and devices used by the enterprise.
  • Label Format
    The electronic definition of a label design
  • Licensing fees
    An up-front and either one-time or annual cost to install software developed by a third party onto your network.
  • Mission-critical data
    Information critical to a particular task.
  • Mobile
    A device that is designed for use outside the office or in the field.
  • Off-the-shelf applications
    Prepackaged software developed to accommodate common needs and thus not typically customizable.
  • PDA
    The acronym for Personal Digital Assistant
  • Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
    A mobile handheld computing/communication device.
  • Platform vendors
    Sellers of off-the-shelf software packages specific to an operating system or device data platform.
  • PLC
    Programmable Logic Controller – an electronic device commonly used for controlling machinery.
  • Pilot
    Implementing a product or solution to a limited, representative group to gain insight and evaluate feasibility for the entire organization.
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
    The time it takes to pay back (or recoup) the amount of money invested in a technology or strategy.
  • Rollout
    Implementing a product or solution to an entire department, division or organization upon completion of a successful Pilot (see Pilot, above).
    Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
  • Seats
    Number of handheld users or potential users.
  • Server-based synchronization
    Data transfer through a central server, typically via the Internet.
  • Small form
    A term used to describe handheld or palm-sized devices.
  • Smart handheld devices
    Handheld devices with more than one function, such as a PDA with cell phone functionality.
  • Synchronization
    Automated data transfer.
  • Verticals
    Industry-specific (e.g., healthcare or retail sales) markets.
  • Wireless
    A connectivity option requiring no cables or wires to receive and transfer data between devices and/or the network (e.g., Bluetooth, Infrared, Cellular).