QR code, NFC, RFID, the technical possibilities of connecting products, via their packaging or labeling are now numerous. What solutions to choose, for what type of application? We bring you the first answers below to guide your project.
QR code, the “light” version
The QR code, in its identical reproduction version, or with its variant with variable incrementation and encoding can be considered as a gateway to the Internet of Things. Its possibilities (and its limits) described below:
- Large number of characters, but limited (7,089 numeric characters, 4,296 alphanumeric characters), including a link to web pages (free or secure access)
Unique identifier on the basis of an increment, and possible resumption of this code in printed characters.
Easily reproducible (without any notion of security), and easy to implement quickly (no mobile interface)
Augmented reality (A.R)
The packaging, and a fortiori the label, is the ideal medium for the integration of Augmented Reality:
- Integration and modification possible at any time (specific supports or already printed)
Increase with very rich content: URL / Video / Audio / Tel / Email / Vcard / Webview / 3D object
Retrieval of valuable data directly from the product: mobile fleet used, volume of scans / clicks, dates and times, pages and interactions consulted, geolocation, etc.
NFC tag, direct exchange with the customer
The NFC (Near Field Communication) tag consists of a chip, integrated into a capsule (label or sleeve). It uses a single, global standard, compatible with most smartphones. It operates only in “near field” (HF-High Frequency frequencies)
Its most common applications are therefore:
- Sending appropriate and targeted data to a user or customer, on their smartphone (notices, accessories, etc.)
Customer loyalty (restocking, location of point of sale or collection)
Product traceability and authentication, thanks to the unique identifier of each chip (with different locking key possibilities)
RFID tag, for industry and logistics
The RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) tag is also made up of a chip, integrated in a capsule (label or sleeve), to which an antenna is associated; It uses UHF (Ultra High Frequency) frequencies, allowing remote reading with dedicated equipment (PDA type).
His interests are therefore mainly for industry:
Minimum need for human intervention (reading possible by “gantries”, without identification or intervention of an operator)
Automatic stock management, with mass reading
In both cases of Tags (NFC, RFID), these allow multiple parties to access and complete information, while having access only to authorized information.
These tags work in any case with an interface system. These are mobile platforms and web interfaces allowing communication between reading devices and recording systems.
1 tag = multiple users and reading levels
The latest developments in this market:
- Tags for humidity, temperature, and shock control
NFC / RFID hybrid tags
Décomatic masters the integration of all these elements into its label and sleeve products, and relies on a partner to offer Tags and mobile interfaces, and ERP.