This paper gives a brief introduction into the background, application, and design of Wavefront Coding imaging systems. Wavefront Coding is a general technique of using generalized aspheric optics and digital signal processing to greatly increase the performance and/or reduce the cost of imaging systems. The type of aspheric optics employed results in optical imaging characteristics that are very insensitive to misfocus related aberrations. A sharp and clear image is not directly produced from the optics, however, digital signal processing applied to the sampled image produces a sharp and clear final image that is also insensitive to misfocus related aberrations. This paper gives an overview of Wavefront Coding and example images related to the two applications of machine vision/label reading and biometric imaging. Design techniques of Wavefront Coding are unique from that of traditional imaging system design since both the optics and digital processing characteristics of the system are jointly optimized for optimum system performance.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.