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Difference Between NFC and QR Code

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term contactless communication? You’ll probably say Bluetooth or Wi-Fi because these are two of the most common wireless communication channels out there. Well, there are other forms of contactless communication using wireless technologies such as NFC and QR Codes. These are the revolutionary wireless communication technologies that are changing the way you interact with the people and things around you. We take a look at the two technologies and pit the two against each other to find out which one is better for your business. Let’s jump right in.

NFC

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. NFC is a new, revolutionary technology that enables short-range communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 4 cm or less with a simple touch. In a way, it increases your ability to be lazy, changing the way you interact with the people and things around you. The name is pretty much self-explanatory; it is a wireless communication technology that enables data exchange between devices over a limited distance. You can interact with any device just by tapping it with a NFC-enabled device such as your smartphone. For example, if you want the music playing on your smartphone to be played on your portable speakers instead, you simply tap on your speakers and voila. NFC is like Bluetooth pairing but much easier and less painful. A single tap can connect your smartphone with your television. NFC is somewhat similar to RFID but allows for two-way connection instead.

QR Code

A QR Code, or quick response code, is a two-dimensional version of a Barcode that is quickly scanned and readable by a smartphone. The code conveys a lot of information which can be instantly retrieved with a quick scan. You have probably seen more than your share of QR Codes. Remember holding up your phone’s camera to an image and you just enter the amount you want to pay to the merchant and finally submit. That’s QR based payment system where you pay the merchant through a quick QR Code scan from your mobile app. This is probably one of the major applications of a QR Code. In fact, they seem to pop up everywhere you go – magazines, billboards, theaters, direct mails, bus, railway and flight reservation, and even as tattoos on peoples bodies. QR Codes are the best and quickest way to access information hidden in plain sight. It is basically a two-dimensional barcode-like image with small black squares packed within a larger square on a white background.

Difference between NFC and QR Code

Basics

 – Both NFC and QR Code are two of the most common and widely used communication technologies that bank on contactless communication. Both enable contactless exchange of data between terminal to terminal in a simple way. QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode-like image with black and white squares that can be seen as a matrix barcode. NFC, short for Near Field Communication, is a wireless communication technology that enables short-range communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 4 cm or less with a simple touch.

Technology

 – NFC is like Bluetooth pairing but much easier and less painful. NFC, like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other wireless communication systems, is based on the principle of sending information over radio waves. In order to communicate, both the devices must be equipped with an NFC chip. NFC technology is somewhat similar to the RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology, but NFC allows for a two-way connection instead. QR Codes has three position indicators that enable the scanner to locate and analyze the code from all angles. You simply need to put your phone’s camera in front of the code and the processor will then decode the data hidden within the code.

Applications

 – QR Codes could be applied for all sorts of things such as social sharing, print media tracking, email list segmentation, feedbacks, QR based payment systems, personalized gift messages, creative advertising, luggage tags, video and charging kiosks, invoice and stationary management, and so on. NFC is a short-range wireless communication system that could be used for a plethora of things such as identity validation, wireless pairing, attendance tracking, transit ticketing, payments, data transfers, etc. Apple Pay is one of the most used payment methods that uses NFC technology to facilitate communication between devices.

NFC vs. QR Code: Comparison Chart

Summary of NFC vs. QR Code

Both NFC and QR Code are two of the most common wireless communication technologies that enable contactless communication between two devices. QR Code is a black and white square code that is quickly readable by a cell phone camera, hence the name ‘quick.’ It conveys a multitude of information; you simply need to scan the code with your phone camera and the processor of your mobile device will then decode the data within the code. NFC is a different form of wireless communication technology that enables communication between two electronic devices over a short distance. NFC is relatively easier to use and more secure compared to QR Codes.


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References :


[0]Sabella, Robert R. NFC For Dummies. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Print

[1]Coskun, Vedat et al. Near Field Communication (NFC): From Theory to Practice. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print

[2]Waters, Joe. QR Code For Dummies. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print

[3]Winter, Mick. Scan Me - Everybody's Guide to the Magical World of Qr Codes. Napa, California: Westsong Publishing, 2011. Print

[4]Battu, Daniel. New Telecom Networks: Enterprises and Security. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Print

[5]Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Size_of_QR_Code.png

[6]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NFC_Tag_App.png

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