RFID vs Barcode

The transition:

from Barcodes to RFID

To understand why many industries are now adopting RFID over barcode you need to look at the simple facts:

Barcode patented in 1957 and based on Morse code is a method of representing data in visual form. Initially, bar codes represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, now they represent many variants of geometric patterns.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) refers to a technology whereby digital data is encoded onto RFID tags to electronically store information via radio waves.

RFID vs Barcode

RFID tags have the potential to contain highly detailed data – Barcodes contain only basic information relating to the product.

RFID tags can be read without the line of sight – Barcodes require a line of sight in order to be read.

• Multiple RFID tags can be read simultaneously – Barcodes must be scanned individually.

RFID tags have a read range of up to 300 feet away – Barcode scanners must be within 8 feet of the barcode in order to read the data.

RFID tags have read/write capabilities. Information can be updated and added – Barcodes are read only, and information cannot be updated or added.

RFID provides a unique product code for every individual item – Barcodes contain only the type of product or item.

RFID tags are difficult to replicate, and data can be password protected – Barcodes can be easily counterfeited or replicated.

RFID tags are highly durable and are not easily damaged or affected by dirt – Barcodes are typically printed on paper or plastic, which makes them easy to damage. A damaged barcode can’t be read by a scanner.

RFID eliminates human error – Barcodes are subject to human error. A person can accidently scan the same item twice. Equally, the scanner could miss an item.

Read rate

Read range

Line of Sight


Improved Productivity


Capable of storing more data

Data is encrypted

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