Problems associated with barcodes
Jul 02, 2004
Problems with barcodes
• Misorientation, obstruction by dirt, mist, protrusions and damage all cause failed reads or misreads.
• They have to be read at line of sight, usually at distances below one meter.
• Scanners are delicate and expensive, causing problems for eg, New Zealand sheep farmers.
• Very little data is stored and it is read-only and not secure or even covert.
• The image is relatively large and ugly. It is impossible to put a practicable barcode on, say an earring or a single wrap of candy because of appearance and the need for high accuracy printing, substrate stability, etc,.
• Simultaneous non-collision scanning of multiple images/products is near impossible.
• Ruggedised versions for eg, high temperature, high abrasion are expensive - even more expensive than some RFID smart labels. The usual versions printed on paper or thin plastic packaging easily fail through crumpling or tearing.
This has meant that barcodes are being replaced at given price breaks. At ten dollars RFID tags replaced bar codes for non-stop road tolling. At two dollars RFID replaced them on secure access cards. At 10-20 cents RFID tags will replace them on air baggage and at 1 cent or less it will replace them on supermarket produce provided a formidable list of associated problems are solved.