RFID vs. Barcode

RFID Barcode
Line of Site Not required (in most cases) Required
 Read Range Passive UHF RFID:
  • Up to 40 feet (fixed readers)
  • Up to 20 feet (handheld readers)

Active RFID: (battery on board)

  • Up to 100’s of feet or more
Several inches up to several feet
Read Rate 10’s, 100’s or 1000’s simultaneously One at a time
Identification Can uniquely identify each item/asset tagged Most barcodes only identify the type of item (UPC Code) but not uniquely.
Read/Write Many RFID tags are Read/Write Read only
Technology RF (Radio Frequency) Optical (Laser)
Interference Some RFID frequencies do not react well with Metal and Liquids. They can interfere with some RF Frequencies. Obstructed and damaged barcodes cannot be read(dirt, tears, fading).
Automation  Most “fixed” readers don’t require human involvement to collect data (automated). Most barcode scanners require a human to operate (labor intensive).

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