Barcodes and RFID tags are used for many of the same applications, but what makes one better than the other? When comparing the overall functionality of the two, they essentially do the same thing: hold data that can be collected using a reader. Taking a deeper dive into both technologies proves why you need to make the switch to RFID today.
1) Read Range
Barcodes (on average) read within inches of the tag and scanner – RFID tags of the same size can read anywhere from zero to 100+ feet, allowing them to be read from further distances.
2) Line of Sight
Barcodes must have a straight line of sight with no interference in order to be read – RFID doesn’t need line of sight, saving time from having to find the tag on each asset.
Barcode scanners can only read one asset at a time – RFID readers have the ability to read multiple tags at once, making the data collection process much faster.
Barcodes are easily replicable – RFID tags can be locked, encrypted and include passwords in order to be read, increasing the security of the data stored on the tag.
Barcodes are often prone to rips, tears and smudges – RFID tags can be molded within hard plastics to protect the antenna from damage, yet still be flexible.
Barcodes are typically encoded with 8-15 characters (depending on their size) in order to keep the barcode itself short – RFID chips are generally encoded with 24 characters, allowing more data, including size and format, to be held on a single tag.
Barcodes are single use only and once assigned to an item can no longer be used to refer to another item – RFID tags can be wiped free of their existing memory and used for another asset, saving money from throwing away used labels.
When it comes to collecting data, RFID saves time and hassle over barcode technology. If you’re still questioning the switch, reach out to our RFID experts and they’ll work with you to see which better applies to your application as well as answer any questions you may have.