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Comparison of Radio Frequency Technology and Bar Codes

- May 16, 2018 -

Comparison of Radio Frequency Technology and Bar Codes

Introduction: RF technology is not necessarily better than bar codes. They are two different technologies, have different scopes of application, and sometimes overlap. The biggest difference between the two is that the bar code is "visual technology" and radio frequency identification does not require that the target be seen.

one. Seven characteristics of electronic tag RFID contrast bar code

1. Quick scan

Only one barcode can be scanned at a time; the RFID reader can recognize and read several RFID tags at the same time.

2. Small size and various shapes

RFID is not limited by size and shape in reading, and does not need to match the fixed size and print quality of the paper for reading accuracy. In addition, RFID tags can be developed in smaller and more diverse forms to be applied to different products.

3. Anti-pollution and durability

The carrier of traditional bar code is paper, so it is easily contaminated, but RFID is very resistant to substances such as water, oil and chemicals. In addition, because barcodes are attached to plastic bags or over-wrapped cartons, they are particularly vulnerable to breakage; RFID tags store data in the chip and are therefore protected from contamination.

4. reusable

Now that barcodes cannot be changed after printing, RFID tags can repeatedly add, modify, and delete data stored in RFID tags to facilitate information updates.

5. Penetrating and barrier-free reading

When covered, RFID can penetrate non-metallic or non-transparent materials such as paper, wood, and plastic, and is capable of penetrating communication. Barcode scanners must read barcodes at close range and without object obstruction.

6. Large memory capacity of data

The one-dimensional bar code capacity is 50 Bytes, the maximum capacity of 2D bar codes can store 2 to 3,000 characters, and the largest capacity of RFID is MegaBytes. With the development of memory carriers, the data capacity has also continued to expand. The amount of data required to carry future items will increase, and the demand for the capacity of the labels to expand will increase accordingly.

7. safety

Since RFID carries electronic information, its data content can be protected by passwords, making its content less susceptible to counterfeiting and alteration.

In recent years, RFID has attracted attention due to its features such as remote reading and high storage capacity. It can not only help a company significantly increase the efficiency of goods and information management, but also allow sales companies and manufacturing companies to interconnect, so as to receive feedback information more accurately, control demand information, and optimize the entire supply chain.

II. Why is RF technology superior to barcodes?

Radio frequency technology is not necessarily better than bar codes. They are two different technologies, have different ranges of application, and sometimes overlap. The biggest difference between the two is that the bar code is “visual technology”. The scanner works under the guidance of a person and can only receive bar codes within its field of view. In contrast, radio frequency identification does not require seeing the target. The RF tag can be read as long as it is within the scope of the receiver. The bar code itself also has other drawbacks. If the tag is scratched, contaminated or falls off, the scanner cannot identify the target. Bar codes can only identify producers and products, and cannot identify specific products. The bar codes attached to all the same product packages are the same, and it is impossible to identify which products have expired first.

three. What is the difference between RF technology and barcode?

Conceptually speaking, the two are very similar. The purpose is to quickly and accurately identify the target object. The main differences are as follows: Is there any ability to write information or update memory. The memory of the barcode cannot be changed. RF tags are unlike bar codes, and their unique identifiers cannot be copied. The role of the tag is not limited to the field of view, because information is transmitted by radio waves, and the bar code must be within sight. Due to the low cost of barcodes and the existence of a well-developed standards system that has spread around the world, it has been generally accepted. On the whole, radio frequency technology is limited to a limited market share. At present, a variety of bar code control templates are already in use. In terms of access to information channels, radio frequency has different standards.

IV. At present, what is the difference between smart labels and barcodes in terms of cost?

Because of the different components, smart labels are much more expensive than bar codes. The cost of bar codes is the cost of bar code paper and ink, while the price of active RFID tags with memory chips is more than US$2, and the cost of passive RF tags is also more than US$1. However, the price of a tag without a built-in chip is only a few cents. It can be used for situations where the data information is not so demanding, and at the same time it has an anti-counterfeiting function that the bar code does not have.