The security industry has been evolving over the years, and along with this, an increasing number of technologies either become more prevalent than ever or fade into obscurity. Some of the essential technologies businesses use to strengthen their security these days are the quick response (QR) codes and the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.
These tagging technologies can increase a business’ security and safety, enhance its operations, and maximise its efficiency, no matter what industry uses it. Especially when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, numerous businesses worldwide realised the great benefits of QR codes and RFID tags. But what exactly are these technologies, and how do they differ?
Read on to find out how QR codes differ from RFID tags and why the latter is considered better and more ideal for business.
What are QR codes?
QR codes are a type of barcode initially designed and used for the automotive industry. It was first introduced into the Japanese market during the 1990s. A QR code contains data that a reader can scan to transfer information. It could be anything from a discount code or coupon to an event ticket or restaurant menu on your phone.
Like any other barcode, a QR code contains a unique combination of different encoding modes like numeric, alphanumeric, binary, and kanji. Using horizontal and vertical components on a QR code creates a pattern for the data to be read with relative ease. This means that the information the QR code contains is stored within its black squares that are arranged on a white background. These are then read main by cameras and other lens-based media.
What are RFID tags?
RFID tags are a component of an RFID system that grants users access to a location, gate, or lock. A primary UHF RFID tag usually consists of an antenna and an integrated circuit or chip containing memory banks and processing, sending, and receiving information. As its name suggests, the data held by an RFID tag is transferred through electromagnetic fields that can automatically identify and even track tagged items or devices.
Tagging items using RFID tags enables users to automatically and uniquely identify objects, collect data about them, and enter those data directly into a computer system with little human intervention. They do so with the help of a reader, which is the component that converts the radio waves to more usable forms of data. The data collected from the tags is then transmitted through a communication interface to the host computer system, where the data is stored and analysed later.
Benefits of Using RFID Tags Over QR Codes
1. Robust Technology
Because of the more advanced components they use as well as their size and design, RFID tags are known for being able to operate in more challenging situations than other technologies like QR codes. For example, besides RFID tool tracking, businesses and individuals can also use RFID tags for tracking pets, enhancing security in establishments, and everything in between.
2. Security and Simplicity
In comparison to other things in the security and access control domain, RFID tags are straightforward and secure. They generally grant access to permitted tags within their radius only. Aside from security, the simplicity of RFID also makes it an ideal technology for business.
Unlike other technologies, RFID readers can scan data instantly and do not require a point of reference to read data. These readers are also highly versatile with various applications throughout a business. Because it often boasts an accurate tracking feature, RFID can also be an incredible tool for personnel management.
4. Real-Time Data
RFID tags deliver real-time information that can improve numerous facets of a business, including security, support, and customer interactions. Among the best features of RFID tags is that they can capture real-time data at multiple stages. This provides businesses with opportunities for better operations, management, and security.
5. Scanning in Bulk
RFID readers can scan multiple RFID tags in a short time. Depending on how the RFID system is used, being able to scan in bulk is a critical factor because it not only increases the efficiency of a business’s operations but also minimises human errors. This feature is why RFID systems are popular in the warehouse and retail industries. An important consideration, there is no need to have line-of-sight as this is needed to scan the QR code.
Both QR codes and RFID tags have their respective uses for various businesses and unique applications. Understanding what they exactly mean and how they differ will help entrepreneurs and consumers determine which technology will be most practical for business and household use. For those looking for a robust, secure, simple, convenient, accurate, and efficient tagging technology, RFID is probably the best option!