Could NFC Replace Barcodes on Packaging?

While it’s often speculated that near field communication (NFC) technology will replace the QR code, and maybe even the barcode all together, there’s an equal amount, if not more, evidence that the barcode is here to stay.

One reason that the barcode is here to stay is the cost of an NFC tag. However, even if costs did significantly decrease over time and NFC became more common, there’s still one major issue—millions of products would have to be redesigned, involving the efforts of companies and manufacturers throughout the world.

Attaching NFC tags would have to be integrated into the packaging process, meaning manufacturers would have to reestablish their processes for maximum throughput. And since there are many outside factors that affect the read range of NFC tags, manufacturers would find themselves needing custom technical solutions for individual products to guarantee readability, which could get costly. Barcodes, on the other hand, are already printed onto product packaging and thus don’t require any extra steps.

Since so many different manufacturers would have to invest so much money and time in package redesign and logistics in order for the NFC tags to reliably be read, and all new standards would need to be set in place at a global level, its highly doubtful that NFC will replace the barcode from a packaging standpoint.

However, NFC replacing QR codes is a different possibility. Share your thoughts on NFC technology vs. barcodes by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.