What are the differences between QR code, Barcode and NFC?

NetworkingBarcodeArtificial Intelligence

Let us understand the concepts of Quick Response (QR) Code, Bar Code and Near Field Communication (NFC).

QR Code

QR code is called as "Quick Response", it allows us to encode or store over 4500 characters in a two-dimensional bar code. These are the "square barcodes" that are initially developed and used in Japan.

The main aim of the QR code is to store the information in such a way that the machine (scanner) can be able to read the data present in the code.

The sample QR code image is given below −

As we can see above all QR codes are made of black dots and white spaces forming a square grid. When humans scan this QR code via scanner then they can be able to view the information in a readable format. Nowadays, mobiles allow us to scan these QR codes easily.

Uses of QR codes

QR codes can be used for storing data like the following −

  • Simple text

  • Phone numbers

  • Online conferences via zoom app

  • Online one time passwords (OTP)

  • Online accounts authentication and many more.

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 the bar code by recognizing special bars on both ends of the 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.

The sample image of barcode is as follows −


NFC stands for Near Field Communication and operates within a radius of about 4 cm. It also provides a wireless connection between your device and another device.

It allows for two-way communication, with both devices involved and are 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.

With the help of a credit card which is linked to the device it is helpful to make payments by simply holding your device near an NFC-enabled payment machine. There are many other uses for NFC as well. Examples include: Paying a fare on public transit, such as a bus or train.

The sample image of NFC is given below −


The major differences between QR code, barcode and NFC are as follows −

QR CodeBar CodeNFC
QR Code was developed in 1994 by Masahiro HaraBar Code was developed in 1952 by Norman Joseph woodland.NFC was developed in 2002 by Franz and Philippe.
There is only one type of QR CodeThere are two types of Barcodes: one and two dimensional.There is only one type of NFC code.
It is a 2D representation of data which can be scanned for the purpose of data retrieval.Barcode stores the numbers in a printed and computer understandable language.NFC is a communication protocol between two communication devices.
Given below is the sample image of QR code − Given below is the sample image of Bar code − Given below is the sample image of NFC − 
Updated on 17-Mar-2022 07:08:23