What is RFID and How Does RFID Work?

RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. RFID technology is an amazing way to improve the efficiency of supply chains, manufacturing processes, and retail stores. RFIDs are what make it possible for consumers to have their products scanned at the cash register without having to wait in line or even stop walking! RFID technology has many benefits that will ultimately benefit you as a consumer.

RFID technology improves the efficiency of supply chains by ensuring that products are not delivered to warehouses until they have been scanned and inventoried. RFIDs can improve manufacturing processes in a number of different ways, such as allowing manufacturers to track how many units are created or even which machines were used. RFID technology also helps retail stores be more efficient. RFID technology helps retail stores be more efficient by reducing the amount of time it takes to check out customers and even identifying fraud in real-time. RFIDs are what make it possible for consumers like yourself to have your products scanned at the cash register without having to wait in line or even stop walking!

rfid warehouse

RIFD Technology Benefits Consumers

RFID are a great invention that helps all of us as consumers, and can even help to reduce fraud in the retail industry! RIFDs are radio frequency identification devices that were created for supply chain management. RFIDs are used to identify objects and track their location. RFIDs use radio waves to transmit data from one object to another, and they have many benefits: they can improve efficiency in retail stores by speeding up checkout times, they can help manufacturers improve production output, and they can also assist with inventory tracking. RFID technology has many benefits that will ultimately benefit you as a consumer!

RIFD Tags Benefit Retail Stores

Name a traditional retail challenge, and you're likely to hear that radio frequency identification (RFID) could solve it. RFID allows retailers to save money, increase sales, deter theft, personalize the in-store experience, and lead to happier customers all because it would allow retailers to know where their inventory is at all times - better than barcodes.

RFIDs are what make it possible for consumers to have their products scanned at the cash register without having to wait in line or even stop walking! RFID technology has many benefits that will ultimately benefit you as a consumer. RFID technology helps retail stores be more efficient by reducing the amount of time it takes to check out customers and even identifying fraud in real-time. 

Ways RIFD benefit Manufactures

For factory settings RFIDs improve the efficiency of supply chains and manufacturing processes. RFIDs help manufacturers be more efficient by speeding up production output and making it easier to track how many units were created, which machines were used, etc. This technology gives visibility in real-tie real-time of material and assets needed to keep the manufacturing process moving around the clock. RFID reduces elevates security, validates finished goods and raw materials, lowers shipping mistakes and overall increases visibility of elements within a supply chain.

RFID Supply Chain Management and Warehousing

Products are fitted with components capable of sensing RFID tags. A reader device is usually installed on the entry-exit point of a warehouse and registers these devices to help update the data in the warehouse’s computer system, which helps track products more accurately. Additionally, this information helps plan product locations strategically.

The RFID system works both before and after inventory management. On the side of consumers, it helps them find what they need more easily. For logistics units, it helps control their stock in real-time and identify where they are lacking on a product by reading which items have left the warehouse.

The major advantages for using a robust RFID system are as follows:

  • Reduced errors to near zero
  • Decreased time and expense for inspection or sorting processes
  • Improved worker satisfaction resulting from increased efficiency
  • Real-time visibility of goods
  • Optimize warehouse layout, maximize space, without added burdens
  • One simple supply chain management, relied on machines not people.
  • Multi-functional RFID with sensors add huge value, measuring temperatures for medicines, produce, meat, dairy, cosmetics, all which need to be kept at different temperatures.
  • Buyers and warehouse managers have more efficient inventory management.

RFID in the Food Industry

Applications of RFID technology in the food industry Though it may not be the ubiquitous standard in the food industry today, RFID can have a variety of useful applications for these manufacturers and distributors. Logistics and supply chain management RFID technology can track materials when they ship and arrive as well as locate them within a warehouse. Food waste, complex supply chains and lack of traceability; the pressing challenges of the food industry are monumental problems with huge costs.

apple varieties cultivars marketing names

In the food industry, where an apple or orange can be one of many varieties, having this information wirelessly can ensure that no mix-ups are occurring. The "eye test" does not always work in a complex industry whose apples may visually look the same but have different actual types and apple marketing names for a variety which would otherwise share similar features to another type.

The food industry's further challenged by the difficulties of manufacturing and distributing their products. On one hand, there are consumers who increasingly want to know what they're eating. This is a problem for conventional companies that do not show their consumers the information about the processed products or foods that they make available to physical product has a digital identity that connects the “who, what and where” of every product at every step of the supply chain.

RFID Inform consumers visibility transparency

From source to store in the post-COVID-19 new normal, the food industry is facing increasing pressure to be faster, more transparent and more productive. Grocers and restaurants can begin to mirror other industries that are using RFID technologies to improve their visibility and efficiency, and to ultimately reduce waste.

Why to digitize your inventory, Impact of RFID on Waste

Digitizing your inventory can have a positive impact on the bottom line. Meet customer expectations and improve operational efficiencies by leveraging RFID technology which is playing a growing role within the food supply chain.

The use of RFID technology is providing a number of benefits to consumers, manufacturers, and suppliers. Out-date labels have resulted in staggering levels of wasted food, especially in the commercial sector. These out-dated labels are also very labour intensive to manage on the shop floor. The accurate and item-level view that an RFID can offer has been well documented in the apparel industry; for example its use as a way of monitoring quality with an accurate tool that will show what needs to be reordered before any products get left out or stolen off store shelves.

The size of food recalls should be small enough to isolate specific stores, as opposed to a mass recall. Experts in the field are always astounded by how much of our food gets wasted throughout the supply chain. It is really shocking and heartbreaking. 40% of what we grow gets thrown away, which is 10% more than it was 10 years ago. This has created major problems within our landfills that could lead to health hazards due to prolonged landfill exposure.

The purpose of food recalls is to remove perishable items from the market. Too often, we unnecessarily shake up supply chains by sending out a broad recall when actually only one or two stores are carrying the contaminated product. We should also provide better guidance on how to determine which store has affected products.

RFID Perishable recalls

How does RFID work?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a new technology that uses radio waves as opposed to visible light, sound and other features that humans can detect. Items are tagged with RFID tags for unique identification, tracking and security purposes. In some instances, the read range exceeds 20 meters depending on the type of RFID tag.

RFID has come a long way since its first use by the military during World War II. Not only does it get better each year, but the costs associated with adopting RFID keep decreasing, making the system more cost-effective and efficient.

Types of RFID

One of the primary methods for RFID technology is within the electromagnetic spectrum, where there are three different frequency ranges used. Low Frequency is in this range, followed by High Frequency and Ultra-High Frequency.

Low Frequency

  • General Frequency Range: 30 - 300 kHz
  • Primary Frequency Range: 125 - 134 kHz
  • Read Range: Contact - 10 Centimeters
  • Average Cost Per Tag: $0.75 - $5.00
  • Applications: Access control: RFID provides convenient access control to their homes or cars; alerts when they leave home without keys or turn off lights left on in the house due to security breaches; Animal trackers with transmitter placed on the animal’s collar; ; enables remote monitoring and tracking of high-volume products like liquids and metals.
  • Pros: The RFID technology works well near liquids and metals, with global standards.
  • Cons: Radio-frequency identification technology has a very limited range, little memory capacity, slow data transmission rate, and high production cost.

High Frequency

  • Primary Frequency Range: 13.56 MHz
  • Read Range: Near Contact - 30 Centimeters
  • Average Cost Per Tag: $0.20 - $10.00
  • RFID Applications: Personal ID Cards, Digital Business Cards, Library Books, , Poker/Gaming Chips, NFC Applications
  • Pros: NFC Global Protocols, larger memory capacity, Global Standards
  • Cons: still has short read range, slow data transmission rate

Ultra-High Frequency

  • General Frequency Range: 300 - 3000 MHz
  • Primary Frequency Ranges: 433 MHz, 860 - 960 MHz

Ultra High Frequency come in two types: Active RFID and Passive RFID.

Active RFID

  • Primary Frequency Range: 433 MHz, (Can use 2.45 GHz - under the Extremely High Frequency Range)
  • Read Range: 30 - 100+ Meters
  • Average Cost Per Tag: $25.00 - $50.00
  • Applications: Vehicle Tracking, Auto Manufacturing, Mining, Construction, Asset Tracking
  • Pros: Very Long Read Range, Lower cost for infrastructure.(vs. Passive RFID), Large Memory Capacity, Fast Data Transmission Rates
  • Cons: High Per Tag Cost, Shipping Restrictions (due to batteries), Complex Software may be Required; Few Global Standards

Passive RFID

  • Primary Frequency Ranges: 860 - 960 MHz
  • Read Range: Near Contact - 25 Meters
  • Average Cost Per Tag: $0.09 - $20.00
  • Applications: Supply Chain Tracking, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Electronic Tolling, Inventory Tracking, Race Timing, Asset Tracking
  • Pros: Long Read Range, Low Cost Per Tag, Wide Variety of Tag Sizes and Shapes, Global Standards, High Data Transmission Rates
  • Cons: High Equipment Costs, Moderate Memory Capacity, High Interference from Metal and Liquids

Example Radio Frequency Identification Applications

Given the flexibility, RFID offers benefits to consumers, manufacturers and suppliers spanning many areas. Applications vary from broad topics like inventory tracking to supply chain management but also can become more specialized depending on the company or industry. Types of applications include IT asset tracking to textile logging and even into nuances such as rental item tracking.

Potential RFID application in the supply chain are designed to uniquely identify individual items quickly and efficiently, where traditional systems fall short. Applications include tracking inventory levels for warehouse operation, locating misplaced or missing items in a retail store, loading trucks at distribution centers, enabling toll crossings on highways onto bridges with automatic collection systems. What sets a potential application apart from others is the need to uniquely identify individual items quickly where traditional systems fall short.

  • Access Control
  • Race Timing
  • Rental Item Tracking
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Pharmaceutical Tracking
  • Inventory Tracking
  • IT Asset Tracking
  • Laundry & Textile Tracking
  • File Tracking
  • Returnable Transit Item (RTI) Tracking
  • Event & Attendee Tracking
  • Vehicle Tracking
  • Tolling
  • Hospital Infant Tracking
  • Animal Tracking (pets, livestock, lab animals)
  • Tool Tracking
  • Jewelry Tracking
  • Retail Inventory Tracking
  • Pipe and Spool Tracking
  • Logistics Tracking (Materials Management)
  • Rental Kiosks
  • Library Materials Tracking
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Real-Time Location Systems
  • Contactless Payments
  • Electronic Passports (epassports)
  • Waste Management
  • Airport RFID Baggage Tags 
  • Inventory Management

RIFD Return on Investment (ROI)

System implementation decisions should not be made without fully evaluating whether the system is feasible for both your application and  your company. An RFID system presents an investment opportunity, which must be weighed against the benefits to see whether you have a positive ROI.

Before considering implementing an RFID system, two of the most important questions to ask are: does it provide (or will it provide) measurable benefits that justify the cost? If so, do those benefits represent a sound business case with an appropriately high ROI?

RIFD Application Feasibility

RFID has a great number of benefits for consumers, manufacturers, and suppliers; however, it is not always the best fit.

Upon understanding these benefits as well as RFID limitations with an application's environment or the asset material composition, one can determine if they think that the implementation of RFID on this project will meet their needs.

The Application Feasibility process typically depends on three aspects: scoping of the project in question and its current environment, defining what technology would be most suitable for this particular project at hand (RFID or another), and finally determining if all factors considered will result in an efficient solution to meet goals.

Radio Frequency Identification Cost Feasibility

Cost feasibility refers to assessing if it is financially feasible for a company to implement an RFID system. Cost feasibility includes factors like the cost of implementation and ROI, as well as how much time it will take before the return on investment can be realized. Once a new system is deployed and successfully running, it will take time for the investment to be recouped.

What is an RFID Tag?

An RFID tag can be broken down into two parts: an antenna, and a radio-frequency identification chip (or IC). The RFID tags are affixed to the items people want tracked for easier tracking.

RFID tags transmit data about an item through radio waves to the reader antenna process. RFID tags do not have a battery (unless specified as Active or BAP tags); instead, they receive power from the radio waved generated by the reader when it is activated. When the tag receives transmission of the energy from the receiver/antenna, each supply then runs through its internal antenna to create an activation signal for the chip inside of it. The activation activates and modulates energy with desired information before transmitting back toward its emitting source.

The RFID chip on each tag contains four memory banks – EPC, TID, User, and Reserved. Each bank can contain various items of information about the tag or item that is tagged depending on which bank it is in and what has been defined for that particular type of data.

RFID tags come in many shapes and sizes with features to suit various environments, surface materials, and applications.

Types of RFID Tags

Because of the wide variety of RFID applications, there are also a wide variety of tags and ways to categorize them. Typically, inlays are cheaper (costing between $0.09 - $1.75), next to hard tags which are typically more rugged or weather resistant (also costing between approximately $1.00-$20).The more custom features that your RIFD tag has, the more it will cost in comparison to typical off-the-shelf tags.

  • RFID Form Factor – Inlay, Label, Card, Badge, Hard Tag
  • Frequency Type– LF, NFC, HF, UHF Passive (902 – 928 MHz, 865 – 868 MHz, or 865 – 960 MHz), BAP, Active
  • Environmental Factors– Water proof, Durable, Chemical resistant
  • Customizable– Shape, Size, Text, Encoding
  • Specific Features/Applications– Laundry Tags, Sensor Tags, Embeddable Tags, Autoclavable Tags, Vehicle Tags, High Memory Tags
  • Specific Surface Materials– Metal mount tags, Glass mount tags, Tags for Liquid-filled items

Selecting an RFID Tag

  • What type of surface will you be attaching your RFID? On metal, plastic, wood, etc.?
  • Determine the range requirement.
  • Size limitations (i.e. the tag can be no larger than x by y by z inches)?
  • What are the extreme environments? Back of a truck in Phoenix Arizona might have excessive heat above 120 degrees, while a freezer truck might face cold, moisture, impact, etc.?
  • Method to attach the tag? Adhesive, screws, cable ties, etc.?
  • The key to choosing a tag is thorough testing of a variety tags.

What is a RFID Reader

An RFID reader provides the brain for the entire system and is necessary in order to function. Readers are devices that transmit and receive radio waves to communicate with RFID tags, which can generally be categorized as either fixed or mobile. Fixed readers stay in one location while mobile ones can be moved around easily.

The type of RFID reader most often used is the one with an integrated antenna. Integrated readers are usually aesthetically pleasing and typically designed for mounting on walls or shelves that see little to no traffic from tagged items.

There are two primary categories of mobile reader- those with an onboard computer, called Mobile Computing Devices and sleds that connect to a smart device or tablet via Bluetooth or Auxiliary.

Fixed RFID readers can connect to up to 8 antennas, however with addition of a multiplexer some can connect up to 32.The number of antennas connected to one reader depends on the area of coverage required. For some desktop applications, like checking files in and out, only one antenna works well; for other applications that need a larger area of coverage, such as a finish line in racing timing with multiple runners or other close contact events, several antennas are necessary.

Types of RFID Readers

The most common way to categorize readers is to classify them as either fixed or mobile. Other ways to differentiate between RFID readers include categories like connectivity, available utilities, features, processing capabilities, power options, antenna ports, etc.

  • Frequency Range- 902 – 928 MHz US, 865 – 868 MHz EU, Etc.*
  • Mobility– Fixed Readers, Integrated Readers; Mobile Readers
  • Connectivity Options– Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LAN, Serial, USB, Auxiliary Port
  • Available Utilities– HDMI, GPS, USB, Camera, GPS, GPIO, 1D/2D Barcode, Cellular Capabilities
  • Processing Capabilities– OnBoard Processing, No OnBoard Processing
  • Power Options– Power Adapter, PoE, Battery, In-Vehicle, USB
  • Available Antenna Ports– No External Ports, 1-Port, 2-Port, 4-Port, 8-Port, 16-Port

RFID Reader Pricing

The cost of an RFID system can vary based on different factors. USB readers, for example, are often priced at around $400 but range upwards to much higher prices if features and functionality like read ranges are important. Handheld readers or fixed readers will have a markedly higher average price point than that of a desktop class reader such as the USB reader due to differing capabilities offered by each type.

Selecting an RFID Reader

  • To better determine the best RFID reader for your application, you will want to answer questions like:
  • How far can i read items?
  • Do I need this item mobile?
  • How many tags do I need at one time or will be reading quickly?

What is an RFID Antenna?

RFID antennas are essential for an RFID system because they convert the reader’s signal into waves which can be picked up by RFID tags. Without an antenna, whether integrated or standalone, an RFID reader cannot properly transmit and receive signals to RFID tags.

When the reader’s energy is transmitted to the antenna, the antenna generates an RF field and, subsequently, an RF signal is transmitted to tags in the vicinity. The efficiency of generating waves in a specific direction (antenna's gain) is what determines how powerful and how far-reaching this wave will be.

The RFID antenna gives off RFID waves in a horizontal or vertical plane, which is described as the antenna’s polarity. If the RF field is a horizontal plane, it is called horizontally linear and if the same principle applies to an RFID antenna that creates a vertical plane.

A system’s read range can be severely impacted when an antenna's polarity does not match the tag's. Increasing the range will require proper alignment of both.

A circularly-polarized antenna transmits waves that rotate continuously between horizontal and vertical planes in order to enable RFID tags to be read in any orientation. However, because the energy is divided among two planes, the range of a circularly polarized antenna—or one with similar performance—is limited relative to a linear polarized or omnidirectional type.

Types of Antennas

RFID antennas can be categorized according to polarity (circular vs. linear) and ruggedness (indoor vs outdoor).

Frequency Range– 902 – 928 MHz, 865 – 868 MHz, 860 – 960 MHz

Polarity– Circular, Linear

Ruggedness– Indoor IP Rated, Outdoor IP Rated

Read Range– Proximity Near-Field, Far-Field

Mounting Type– Shelf Antenna, Ground Antenna, Panel Antenna, Portal Antenna

Selecting an RFID Antenna

  • How much read range do you need?
  • Is it possible to always know or control the orientation of the RFID tag relative to the antenna’s position in your application?
  • Any excessive environmental conditions to consider? Excessive heat, cold, moisture, impact, etc.?
  • Will the antenna be mounted indoors or outdoors?
  • Size limitations (i.e. the antenna can be no larger than x by y by z inches)?

RFID Antena Pricing

Most RFID antennas are priced at a range of $50 to 300. However, because there are factors that can affect the affordability of an antenna for a specific event, they can be more expensive and increase the cost of your system significantly.

The amount you spend on each type will depend on how large or small it is and if it's made for one-time use or ongoing monitoring. The higher price also means that you're getting better quality materials so your equipment will last longer.

Can RFID Be Dangerous or Harmful?

The FDA does not know of any adverse events directly attributable to RFIDS, but there are concerns about the interference RFIDs can cause in some devices like medical equipment.

Active, Semi-Passive and Passive RFID Tags

"Active RFID tags semi-passive RFID or passive RFID make RFID technology more prevalent. These tags are cheaper to design and can be made little enough on almost any product to cover. - Activitative tags depend exclusively on the reader for energy sources while active tags are more costly. Active labels are reserved for costly items which can be read at larger distances. In the next section we'll learn how this technology can use to create a global network of RFID tags to link to the Internet. Next section will learn how the system can help produce RFID networks throughout the world."

Reinventing the BarCode

RFID stands for Radio-frequency identification. RFID is more versatile than barcodes. It has a read and write function, whereas barcodes only allow data to be read from them. People are already using RFID technology in the form of contactless payment on public transport systems around the world.

RFID Criticism

There's controversy about human applications of implantable RFID technology. Some people are concerned that individuals could be tracked using a unique identifier (such as an RFID chip implanted into their body). One concern raised is that the individual may have no control over this tracking and there could be abuse, such as invasion of privacy or location-tracking without consent.

What is an RFID wallet?

RFID wallets work with RFID-blocking technology, which blocks out the signal that certain RFID readers use to read data from a contactless chip. To find if your wallet is RFID protected, first check what type of wallet it is. If there's no mention of being blocked (most common), then it likely isn't.

Does RFID interfere with cell phones?

The 865 to 868 MHz portion of the spectrum is dedicated exclusively to radio frequency identification systems, ensuring that they don't interfere with other interconnected systems.

Do Cell Phones Obstruct RFID Reads?

Similar to above, the two systems won't interrupt each other.

Does RFID interfere with WIFI?

Cross interference is possible between RFID systems and WIFI or personal area networks (WPAN) such as Bluetooth but only when devices share common or adjacent frequency bands. Often, there is cross interference because of the presence of multiple WiFi systems.

What blocks an RFID signal?

You can use a variety of materials that are bad conductors of electromagnetic waves to block RFID waves. Just a few sheets of aluminum foil is all you need, you may just need more sheets depending on the thickness.

How does an RFID chip work?

RFID systems consist of a tiny radio transponder, a radio receiver and transmitter. When triggered by an electromagnetic interrogation pulse from nearby RFID readers, the tags transmit digital data that can be used to track inventory goods.

Who makes the RFID chip?

The U.S.-based company Motorola is the largest producer of Gen 2-compliant ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID readers, and there are several companies that make these products such as Alien Technology, Applied Wireless RFID, CAEN RFID, GAO RFID, Impinj, Mojix and ThingMagic. UHF chips are beneficial to consumers, manufacturers and suppliers.

Alien is a leading provider of UHF chips while Impinj and NXP Semiconductors provide the best availability for UHF inlays. Additionally, Avery Dennison, Invengo and Smartrac Technology are all leaders in their respective fields within RFID technology.

Who invented RFID Technology and RFID History

RIFDs were invented in 1966 by Dr. J R R Aspnes, who is credited with founding RFID Technology's research branch as well as inventing passive tags and readers that utilize electromagnetic waves (RF) from a reader antennae signal beam that energizes the tag when within range.

Historically RIFDs were not used for the purpose of simplifying people's lives or boosting retail store efficiency. RIFDs were originally developed in response to military supply needs. RIFD technology was originally used to identify ships and planes so they could be tracked from afar. RIFDs were soon adapted to help track and identify other inventory as well, such as animals, guns, and cars. RIFD technology is now being used by retailers around the world to improve their business operations.

What are the disadvantages of RFID?

There are downsides to RFID technology. Materials including metal and liquids can impact RFID signal. As a result, the technology may not always be as accurate or reliable as barcode scanners. Upfront costs for these readers can be more than ten times higher than those for standard barcodes systems. Implementation from an IT perspective can also be difficult and time-consuming when compared with other types of RF identification hardware devices.

What is the maximum range of RFID?

Active RFID systems typically operate in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band and offer a range of up to 100 meters. Active tags are used on large objects, such as rail cars, big reusable containers, and other assets that need to be tracked over long distances.

The UHF frequency makes it possible to track large objects at a distance.

The power of an RFID chip will depend on the application, but the distance it can be read from will not. For example, when U.S. State Department officials said that they would issue electronic passports with RFID chips, they said that readers would only be able to skim information at a few inches away from tags. Yet new evidence has surfaced showing that these same chips can be read much farther than anticipated – sometimes over 33 feet away.

 

RFID vs Barcodes

RFID tags are not susceptible to the damages that may be incurred by barcode labels, like ripping and smearing.

How far away can RFID be detected?

RIFD tags have the advantage of a longer read range than passive RFID tags. Active RIFD tags can be read from up to 1500 feet away, or more.

Can RFID go through walls?

HF waves can pass through most materials except for water and dense metals. Thin metals, like aluminum, can still be tagged with HF tags and function normally. HF RFID tags usually have a general read range of a few centimeters up to about a meter in length depending on the setup of the system.

The strength of RF signals can be hindered by the size and material used in a particular product. One factor is that some materials reflect RF energy, which changes the signal's reception time. Sensors with weak messages will not register on an RFID-equipped reader if it has low sensitivity or a very specific frequency. If the wall were made of metal, the reader energy would bounce off the wall and never reach the tag. If a thick material like concrete absorbed all of the RF energy, then it might prevent it from reaching one or more tags in another room.

What is the difference between a beacon and an RFID tag?

Beacons, Bluetooth tags or BLE tags are similar to active RFID tags. They have inbuilt batteries which provide them with long read-ranges. The most unique difference between bluetooth beacons and RFID is that the former work on low energy technology (BLE) which allows for highly efficient use of power sources.

Which is better RFID or Bluetooth?

More energy-efficient than standard Bluetooth, BLE allows wireless communication over a large range of distances. Its data is also compatible with an installed base of web-connected devices that work on Bluetooth technology

Is RFID the same as NFC?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, a one-way communication method at varying distances. NFC, or Near Field Communication is a close-range communication tool that allows for two-way communication.

What is the definition of Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) refers to a digital extension of the physical world in which more information can be used to supplement and enhance the existing environment. It is growing in popularity among companies involved with mobile computing and business applications.

RFID QR Code retailers

QR Code vs. RFID, which is better?

RFID are three-dimensional and beyond. Barcodes you can think of as one dimensional data and QR codes are two-dimensional, than you can think of RFID building augmented reality. RFID rely on radio, while both barcodes and qr codes use a visual scanner like laser or optical lense. RFID technology is uniquely designed to gather data on the behavior and state of the monitored objects and allows identification and localization of moving objects in space.

RFID allow for read-write, this makes RFID futuristic compared to QR codes must always be “read-only” and gives the RFIDs many more applications. The read range is far superior for an RFID tag.

What happens when you combined QR Code and RFID Tag? Dual Technology

Buffalo Quality Tags combine the convenience of QR codes and the power of RFIDs. This new introduction will now allow a link between durable asset labels to product information and other Web-based resources for supply chain tracking and manufacturers’ customer support for consumers and allows industry to ensure quality, measure inventory, and create transparency / accountability among stakeholders. The QR codes are readable on nearly every phone, they are two-dimensional and can encode text, URLs and other useful information . This new ability gives customers to connect to a video detailing operating or preparation instructions while having the most current information available to them online.

Buffalo Market's view is that QR codes can serve the needs of retailers’ as well as the needs of suppliers for customer engagement, service and other applications beyond marketing. Sean Howell, the company co-founder shared that CPGs and grocery products are especially suitable for heightened quality control, traceability, and authentication. Retailers can enhance customer experiences and suppliers can save paper and contribute to a better environment by replacing paper with QR codes for efficiency. Buftag, Smart Tags.


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