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Difference between QR Code, Bar Code and NFC

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1. Barcode : 
Barcode is a widely used method to store information pictorially in a computer understandable format. It uses lines and spaces to store numbers. The stored numbers can be retrieved by the computer using a scanner also known as the barcode scanner. Among others, it is used extensively in retail, car rental, hospitalization industries. 

Barcode that scans to GeeksforGeeks – 

2. QR code : 
QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that are used to store data. The codes are scanned by a QR scanner to get access to the information stored in it. They were developed in the year 1994, in Japan. They are a method of storing multimedia data (video, audio, pictures, links, etc.) horizontally and vertically. 

QR Code that scans to – 

3. Near Field Communication (NFC) : 
It was introduced in the year 2002 by Phillips and Sony. NFC is a Near Field Communication method that becomes very useful in transferring data between 2 devices that are kept in a distance of 4 centimeters or less. It is based on the principle of coupling (inductive coupling). 

NFC on a speaker – 

Difference between QR Code, Bar Code, and NFC : 

S.No. Barcode QR code NFC
1. It was developed in the year 1952. It was developed in the year 1994. It was developed in the year 2002.
2. It was developed by Norman Joseph Woodland. It was developed by Masahiro Hara. It was developed by Franz Amtmann and Philippe Mangars.
3. There are 2 types, 1 dimensional and 2 dimensional, or barcodes. There is only of 1 type. There is only of 1 type.
4. It is a way of storing numbers in a printed and computer understandable format. It is a type of 2D barcode or printed representation of data that can be scanned for data retrieval. It is a communication protocol for communication between devices (electronic) within a distance of 4cm.
5. It is used at stores for tracking all purchased items, in hospitals for tracking the records of patients, in rental cars business, and tracking of airline luggage, mails, and nuclear waste. It is used in supermarkets, hospitals, cinema or by individuals, etc. for the transfer of data (sharing contacts, photos, videos, and other documents.). It is used as identity cards, as key cards, and as a method of contactless payments and mobile payments in various sectors such as retail, automobile, cinema, etc.
6. It is based on Morse Code technology. It is based on Morse Code technology. It is based on inductive coupling between antennas of the devices.
7. It requires line of sight. It requires line of sight. It requires proximity (distance between the devices must be less than 4 centimeters, hence the name, Near field).
8. Only one barcode is examined at once. Only one QR code is examined at once. Only one NFC is examined at once.


Last Updated : 16 Jul, 2021
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