What are the differences between Barcode and NFC?

Let us understand the concept of Barcode and Near Field Communication (NFC).

Bar Code

A bar code reader decodes the data contained in the barcode and sends it to the computer. It produces a beam of light or a laser beam to read barcodes which is reflected by the bar code image. A light sensitive detector which is present in the reader identifies bar code by recognizing special bars on both ends of image. With the help of these special bar’s reader is able to identify whether the bar code has been read right side up or upside down.

Once a barcode is identified by a bar code reader it decodes it and converts the individual bar patterns into numeric digit code that can be read by computer, After decoding the barcode it enters that data into computer as a text.

Given below is the sample image of bar code −

Near Field Communication (NFC)

NFC operates within a radius of about 4 cm and also provides a wireless connection between your device and another device. It allows for two-way communication, with both devices involved and is able to send and receive information. This NFC connection does not depend on Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE or otherwise, and it doesn't cost anything to use.


The advantages of NFC are as follows −

  • Safety

  • Versatility

  • Convenience

  • Used for multiple applications

  • More security when compared to other technology

  • Compatibility with RFID technology


The disadvantages of NFC are as follows −

  • The company agreement is required to Use

  • Works for shorter distance

  • Slow data transfer rate

  • Not advantage for users

  • Power consumption is more


The major differences between Barcode and NFC are as follows −

Barcode was created and developed by Norman Joseph Woodland in 1952.
NFC code was created and developed by Franz and Philippein the year 2002.
Bar code and be represented in 2 types: one dimensional or 2 dimensional.
NFC is one type.
Barcode stores numbers in a printed format where the computer can understand.
The technology used by NFC is inductive coupling between antennas of the connecting devices.
Barcode used at super markets and different stores to track all purchased products and also in hospitals for tracking the patient record etc.
NFC is used for identity cards, contact less payments, mobile payments etc.
The storage capacity of Barcode is more than 100 bytes.
NFC storage capacity is up to 8 kilobytes
Barcode requires less storage when compared to NFC.
NFC requires more storage when compared to barcode.
Barcode reads and detects fast when compared to NFC.
NFC popularity is moderate when compared to fastag.
Barcode is cost effective.
NFC is not cost effective.
Barcode is one way communication.
NFC is a two way communication.