Narian compares NFC to Barcodes with infographic
Posted by Seth PlanckFebruary 06th, 2012 at 1:36 PM Filed Under Latest News, NFC Infographics
Narian compares NFC to Barcodes with infographic
The NFC and Barcode battle still looms on and Narian Technologies has been determined to settle the dispute once and for all with an insightful infographic. QR codes are finally being accepted everywhere with marketers barely putting out a piece of printed collateral without the aforementioned QR code winging it’s way along for the ride. However NFC tags have many advantages that QR codes simply can’t attain. Naraian builds a strong case for NFC in its info graphic that points out the many advantages that NFC holds over Barcodes of any description, but that doesn’t mean that barcodes are dead yet. Obviously we favor NFC tags, NFC devices and the ecosystem that is building around the technology. However we would be remiss if we didn’t play devils advocate a little and point out some of the advantages that barcodes have over NFC. So we will endeavor to give a balanced approach as we go through Narian Technologies infographic.
Narian side by side comparison of NFC and barcodes
Narian points out the there are no lighting issues with NFC and this is true. QR codes and barcode scanning is difficult and if not impossible in low light situations. LED flashes are getting better in smartphones, but we have experienced issues reading barcodes in the past. The Florida based firm also points out that NFC has built in security. No barcodes outside of Kovio’s barcodes have security in anyway. The only reason the Kovio barcodes have security is because they are NFC enabled. Narian also points out that NFC tags can be read at lightning speed. In fact in most cases a read takes one tenth of a second if a quality tag is used. However with a barcode your smartphone needs to photograph and then analyze that image before it can reach out to the web and identify what product or services is linked to that barcode. That isn’t even to mention the time it takes to find and boot the barcode app on your smartphone. When it comes to speed NFC has no competition.
Barcodes by nature are fragile. If they become bent or as Narian points out if a child uses a crayon on a barcode it becomes in operable. The same cannot be said about NFC. both NFC tags and NFC devices are hardy and can take some punishment. Tags can be embedded within poster, products and POS and be safe for a long time. Narian also points out that NFC can access media without an internet connection. This is true under certain circumstances. NFC tags first and foremost can hold more data than a barcode. An NFC tag can also contain connection instructions for localized WiFi connections to access even more media. Barcodes also come in multiple flavors with many different standards. Software needs to support all standards to make barcodes ubiquitous. NFC works on a single global standard. If you have a multi national store, campaign or even if you are an airline having one standard makes everything easier.
The last thing Narian points out in its side by side comparison of NFC Vs barcodes is that barcodes are ugly. It doesn’t matter have much of a fan of barcodes you are you cannot deny they are the best looking critters in the world. From a design perspective it is difficult to make them look good in a piece of collateral. This is especially true of QR codes, they catch the eye because of how fragmented the imagery is and draws attention away from the messaging of a piece.
However barcodes have some redeeming qualities. They are cheap. In fact they add no extra cost to a piece of marketing collateral apart from the time it takes to fiddle around with the graphic, encode it and add it to your marketing piece. NFC tags on the other hand cost. Barcodes have also been around forever so there is a lot of support for them. NFC smartphones are becoming more prevalent by the day, but compared to smartphones that have a camera their figures pale in to insignificance, much to our disappointment.
In reality both NFC and barcodes have a place in the future. Barcodes will eventually giveaway to NFC as tags come down in price and as more and more smartphones become NFC enabled. Eventually consumers will become frustrated with the slow speeds of barcodes and will start to not use them. However we are probably ten years away from that reality. Until then NFC is the future proof technology and barcodes are the legacy technology. Expect within the next year to see both technologies supported with a gradual decline in the amount of barcodes you see in collateral, POS and anywhere else you see barcodes. However for manufactures and supermarkets to give up on barcodes NFC will have to present a cost effective case beyond functionality to supersede the outdated and simple barcode. We of course agree with Narian on all of their points. NFC is the way and the bigger it gets the cheaper it will become. Progressive companies are already switching to NFC, but for now at least many will include barcodes also. The NFC Vs barcode battle has just begun, barcodes are seeing a boom right now in their inclusion in collateral but the writing is on the wall for the technology and NFC is hell bend in its goal to send barcodes the way of the Dodo and the forward thinking team at Narian knows it.