Printed barcodes and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology are two different forms of technology that are used for reading and collecting data. Although they’re both commonly used for asset tracking and inventory tracking in business, their capabilities and how they work differ significantly in some ways. Each has advantages depending on how you plan to use the RFID or barcode system.
However, judging from the benefits listed below, using RFID over barcodes clearly has more advantages, especially when it comes to durability, longevity, security, and efficiency. RFID technology uses a tag affixed to a product that identifies and tracks the product via radio waves. These tags can carry up to 2,000 bytes of data. This technology has three parts: a scanning antenna, a transceiver with a decoder to interpret the data, and a transponder pre-set with data.
The scanning antenna sends out a radio-frequency signal to communicate with the RFID tag. When the RFID tag passes through the frequency field of the scanning antenna; it detects the activation signal and transfers the data it holds for the scanning antenna. Unlike RFID, a barcode is a visual representation of data that is scanned and interpreted.
Each one contains a specific code, represented in a sequence of lines or other shapes, that tracks technology for products. This data can be scanned by barcode readers along with newer technology on devices such as smartphones and desktop printers. In the future, there could also be e-ink based barcodes that are readily programmable. 
What are the specific benefits of using RFID?
- Durability: When a paper or vinyl barcode tag becomes worn, torn, or simply dirty, it’s useless. RFID tags aren’t hampered by some of the common problems that affect barcode scanning, such as dirty, torn, or obstructed labels. Barcode labels are susceptible to these problems because they’re typically printed on paper.
- Expanded Read Range: Where barcodes require a scanner to manually read every tag, RFID can track multiple tags simultaneously, transmitting data, eliminating the need for a direct line of sight between the scanner and tag. RFID also offers a longer read range, up to 100 feet away, versus 20 feet for a barcode laser scanner.
- Hack-Proof Security: Barcodes can be fully duplicated with little more than a photocopier. By contrast, programmable RFID tags offer advanced data encryption which thieves and hackers cannot replicate, making this technology the emerging choice for product authentication.
- Large Quantities: Companies that utilize barcode tracking software require employees to scan each label separately. But when a business uses RFID tracking software, potentially hundreds of tags may be read per second, as the tags are activated by radio signals from the reader.
- Read/Write Capabilities: RFID tags can be programmed with unique data about an item, such as immunization histories, or first-in-first-out rotations for material assets, like laundry tags. This data can be quickly updated remotely via a mobile RFID scanner, where barcode scanners require manual downloads to a central database.
Trust the RFID Experts: Syrma Technology
We develop RFID hardware and software for asset management applications, asset tracking, performance metrics, and product authentication. Our RFID solutions, products, and services include extensive custom tags, readers, and software to develop solutions in asset tracking, product authentication, and performance measurement among other applications.
We design, engineer, and manufacture RFID tags in multiple encapsulations (clear, epoxy, glass, and molded) spanning all standard wavelengths (LF, HF, and UHF). We also design multi-protocol, custom-made RFID readers that are compatible with standard tags, as well as connect with iOS and Android devices. As with all of our tags, they can be optimized for specific applications. All tags are designed with performance and quality in mind.
Some tags can be designed for added water resistance and most allow for surface printing and branding. We’re adept at assessing clients’ technical needs and harnessing our hardware and software resources to custom design an end-to-end RFID solution to successfully tackle any application. With the clear advantages of RFID technology, is your company likewise looking to transition to a leading-edge RFID solution?
Backed by 40 Years of Expertise
We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets, and we look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home Indian market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs seeking to enter the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.
Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport, with additional road and rail connectivity linking to the rest of India and beyond, as well as infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force availability, both technical and manual, to rapidly scale to client demand.
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