Difference between Barcodes and Radio-frequency identification tags

  • IASbaba
  • June 6, 2022
  • 0
Science and Technology
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In News: Baggage tags equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) will soon be available at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, marking a first of its kind for the country.

What is Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology?

  • RFID is a wireless tracking method that uses tags and readers to track objects.
  • Transponder, receiver, and transmitter are the three components of an RFID system.
  • The RFID reader continually sends radio waves of a specific frequency in RFID system.
  • If the object to which the RFID tag is attached is within the range of the radio waves, it provides feedback to the RFID reader, which then identifies the object based on the feedback

What are the different kinds of RFID?

  • Passive tags, semi-passive tags, and active tags are the three types of RFID tags that are commercially available.
  • There is no power supply for passive tags. They acquire their power from the readers’ incoming radio waves.

  • Semi-passive tags comprise an internal circuit with a power source, but rely on the radio waves received from the reader to transmit the response.
  • The internal circuit of active tags is powered by a power source.
  • The Low Frequency, High Frequency, and Ultra-High Frequency bands are used by RFID systems

What is a barcode?

  • A barcode is a printed series of parallel bars or lines of varying width used for entering data into a computer system.
  • The bars are black on a white background and vary in width and quantity depending on the application.
  • The bars represent the binary digits zero and one, which represent the digits zero to nine processed by a digital computer.
  • These barcodes are scanned using special optical scanners known as barcode readers
  • One of the most well-known examples of a barcode is the QR code.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology Vs barcodes

  • RFID uses radio waves to communicate data from RFID chips to readers that do not require line of sight in order to obtain the data, whereas barcodes use light to read the black-and-white pattern printed on the sticky tag.
  • An RFID tag can communicate with a powered reader even when the tag is not powered.
  • When printed on paper or sticky labels, barcodes are more susceptible to wear and breakage, which can affect their readability. RFID tags, on the other hand, are sometimes placed in plastic labels or into the object itself, making them more durable than barcodes.
  • In contrast to barcode scanners, RFID scanners can process dozens of tags in a single second. Also, barcodes are simple and easy to copy or counterfeit, whereas RFID is more complicated and difficult to replicate or counterfeit.
  • RFID tags are expensive compared to barcodes.

Is RFID enhanced version of barcode?

  • When it comes to speed, there is a noticeable difference between barcodes and RFID. This is because barcodes must be read manually, making them more susceptible to human error and more difficult to evaluate their accuracy.
  • However, RFID’s accuracy may be compromised if the tags are applied to metals or liquid.
  • Since RFID frequencies can be transmitted over greater distances than barcode frequencies, there is also concern that RFID technology raises data protection issues, resulting in personal information becoming accessible without consent.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) In the context of digital technologies for entertainment, consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. In Augmented Reality (AR), a simulated environment is created and the physical world is completely shut out.
  2. In Virtual Reality (VR), images generated from a computer are projected onto real-life objects or surroundings.
  3. AR allows individuals to be present in the world and improves the experience using the camera of smart-phone or PC.
  4. VR closes the world, and transposes an individual, providing complete immersion experience.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 and 4
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 4 only

Source: Indian Express

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