RFID, or radio frequency identification, uses different frequencies of radio waves to communicate its information. Almost like listening to a radio station. A typical Radio frequency identification system consists of readers, antennas, handhelds, and tags. These systems can either be active or passive. Active RFID means that the tags are battery-assisted and periodically transmit information like a beacon. Passive RFID is powered by the radio waves that are blasted form the reader or handheld allowing the tag information to be read.

With an RFID system, you will see these advantages:

RFID does not need line of sight

For a barcode to read the information you need to be right over the tag in order for it to be read properly. Radio frequency identification is quite the opposite because RFID readers and handhelds blast radio waves, the tags do not need a direct line of sight. Depending on the hardware that is used the read rage can vary from 10cm to 100m.

Tags can store more data

The standard barcode is limited to the amount of information or data it can represent. An RFID chips memory can hold anywhere from 96 bits to 8 kilobytes of memory.

Read rate is increased

Each barcode needs to be scanned individually to be processed into a system. As for RFID, you can read multiple tags at the same time. The RFID readers are capable of processing hundreds of tags in that same time.

A Barcode can be printed with the RFID tag

If you already have a barcoding system in place and would like to bring RFID in phases, Printable RFID tags and labels do allow barcodes to be printed on the tags as a human-readable.

Interested in making your own tag or label? Download Capturity’s RFID tag guide here.