Which will it be?
Advantages of RFID Versus Barcodes
- RFID tags and barcodes both carry information about products. However, there are important differences between these two technologies.
- Barcode readers require a direct line of sight to the printed barcode; RFID readers do not require a direct line of sight to either active RFID tags or passive RFID tags.
- RFID tags can be read at much greater distances; an RFID reader can pull information from a tag at distances up to 100 meters. The range to read a barcode is much less, typically no more than 5 meters.
- RFID readers can interrogate, or read, RFID tags much faster; read rates of a few hundred or more tags per second are possible.
- Reading barcodes is much more time-consuming due to the fact that a direct line of sight is required. If the items are not properly oriented to the reader it may take seconds to read an individual tag. Barcode readers usually take a half-second or more to successfully complete a read.
- Line of sight requirements also limit the ruggedness of barcodes as well as the reusability of barcodes. Dirty, scratched and snow or frost covered bar codes cannot be read. RFID tags are typically more rugged, and not effected by the environment. RFID tags have become the technology of choice in paint applications.
- Barcodes have no read/write capability; that is, you cannot add to the information written on a printed barcode. RFID tags, however, can be read/write devices; the RFID reader can communicate with the tag, and alter as much of the information as the tag design will allow.
- RFID tags are typically more expensive than barcodes, in some cases, much more so.