QR Codes versus NFC Tags

Another form of contact-less communication comes in the form of QR codes. QR codes are like barcodes. The user scans the QR code, the smartphone interprets the barcode, and a related website or application opens. It is similar to NFC technology in that both are fast and require no actual contact between the smartphone and the item containing the QR code or NFC chip. Yet NFC is more versatile while QR codes remain the same once generated.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. NFC offers faster, easier, more secure transactions and options, yet QR codes currently reach a wider market since more phones can read them than those that can read NFC tags. As NFC becomes more popular, however, it narrows the gap between itself and QR codes.

To use a QR code, a business decides what they want the code to link to and uses a computer program to generate the image. Printing the image onto advertisements or displays makes it available to the public. That’s all there is to it. Yet if the business wants to change the link, they must generate and reprint a new QR code.

The major advantage of NFC is its flexibility. Storing different types of information and changing it on a whim is possible without every creating a new NFC tag. The owner can simply overwrite the information currently on the tag and create new info.

The second major advantage of NFC is its ease of use. With a QR code, the user must open a scanner app on their smartphone, hover over the QR code, and wait for the phone to analyze it and react to the code.

With NFC technology, the user waves the phone near the NFC tag area and the information is transferred instantly. No need to open an app or wait for analysis. The tag and reader communicate with each other to complete complex transactions quickly and securely.

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