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What is difference between the barcode and RFID tags?

Barcode technology, is the abbreviation of barcode automatic identification technology (barcode auto-identification tech). It is in the contemporary information technology based on the generation and development of the symbol automatic identification technology. It can integrate the functions of symbol coding, data collection, automatic identification, entry and storage of information into one, which can effectively solve the problems of collecting and automatically entering a large amount of data in the logistics process.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a wireless communication technology that identifies a specific target and reads and writes relevant data through radio signals without the need to establish mechanical or optical contact between the identification system and the specific target. The radio signal is transmitted through an electromagnetic field tuned to a radio frequency, transmitting data from a tag attached to an item to automatically identify and track that item.

In fact, before the application of RFID technology, the record and transmission of information mainly relies on bar codes, using bar code identification method has the advantage of flexible configuration, system cost is low, but there is easy pollution, easy to break, the operation is more cumbersome, etc. Although passive RFID tags and bar codes are used to store product information, however, there are still 7 differences between the two technologies as follows.

1. Data storage capacity

The capacity of 1D barcodes is 50 bytes, 2D barcodes can store up to 2 to 3000 characters and RFID chip up to several M bytes. With the development of memory carriers, there is a tendency to increase the capacity of data. The amount of data that objects will carry in the future will increase, and so will the need to expand the capacity of the storage medium.

2. Pollution resistance and durability

Traditional barcodes are paper-based and therefore susceptible to contamination, but RFID is highly resistant to substances such as water, oil and chemicals. In addition, because barcodes are attached to plastic bags or outer cartons, they are particularly susceptible to damage; RFID roll labels have data in a chip, so they are protected from contamination and have a longer life.

3. External form

RFID is not limited by size or shape in terms of reading, so there is no need to address the size or printing accuracy of the carrier for reading accuracy. In addition, RFID tags can be miniaturized and diversified to suit different products.

4. Security

As RFID carries electronic information, its data content can be protected by encryption technology, making its content less susceptible to forgery and falsification, while barcodes are exposed physical information and mostly use generic coding rules, which make data security impossible.

5. Tracing efficiency

Because RFID carries electronic information, its data content can be protected by encryption technology, making its content less susceptible to forgery and falsification, whereas barcodes are exposed physical information and often use common encoding rules, making data security impossible.

6. Penetration and accessibility

RFID is able to penetrate non-metallic or non-transparent materials such as paper, wood and plastic when covered, and can communicate through them. Bar code scanners, on the other hand, must be at close range and unobstructed by objects to recognize bar codes.

7. Reusable

Current barcodes cannot be changed after they have been printed and cannot be reused, which in effect increases the cost to the business, whereas RFID tags can be repeatedly added, modified and deleted from the data stored within the RFID tag, making it easy to update the information.

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