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Difference between RFID System and Barcode System

FAQ No. FAQ03398

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What features does the RFID System have compared to the barcode system?


1. Since the RFID system communicates via radio waves or electromagnetic waves, it has the following advantages over the barcode system which reads information via light.

(1) A tag can be read even in a dusty environment, or even if water or oil adheres to it.

(2) Even if there is a shielding material such as plastic and paper between the tag and the antenna, RFID's reading performance is hardly affected. (However, metal is an exception. Also, certain models are susceptible to moisture.)

(3) The tag can be read even if the position or angle of the tag and antenna is not proper.

(4) The system is not subject to ambient light.

2. Astronomical data can be handled.

The barcode system generally handles approximately up to 32 digits, and if more data are handled, a certain invention is required. For example, multiple barcodes should be accumulated to be a single data.

In the case of the RFID system, the tag capacity is approximately from 100 bytes to 8k bytes (about 1 byte = 1 digit) depending on the communication method and the type of tag.

Since the target address is assigned when reading and writing data, only required data can be taken and used among a large quantity of data.

3. Data can be written.

Accordingly, "unification of object and information" is possible, and thus a highly flexible and reliable system can easily be established.

4. On the other hand, the barcode system has the following features.

(1) Data is visible.

(2) Data cannot be rewritten.

(3) Each barcode can be made by printing at low cost.

An easier-to-use system can be established by effectively combining the barcode reader and the RFID system.