QR_GRS_Portfolio_150x150We are often asked if it’s better to tag content using QR Codes or NFC tags.
The simple answer would be to always use both, e.g. a combo QR Code with an NFC tag attached to it. However, the real answer is that it depends on the use-case scenario, so here we’ll go over some of the differences and typical use cases of both technologies.

Feature QR Code NFC Tag
Cost FREE
Just copy and paste
NOT FREE
$1 to $10 each + labour to encode
Mobile friendly BEST
Supported by all smartphones and tablets
GOOD
Supported by most high end smartphones and tablets
but currently not supported by any Apple device
User Convenience GOOD
User must launch scanning app and focus the camera on the QR Code image
BEST
User simply taps the tag
Technology Light
Requires line of sight; plus app and camera on device. And a steady hand…
Electromagnetic
Requires proximity; plus NFC antenna on device
Distance BEST
From a few inches to a few hundred meters
POOR
Device must touch the tag, or be within 1 cm of it
(This may be considered a plus for security)
Payload BEST
Up to 4Kb, but large payloads make it harder to focus
GOOD
Typically 16 to 96 characters
Recommended to use shortened URLs (GreenRack generates them automatically)
Interference GOOD
Requires light, affected by reflection
GOOD
Affected by metals and liquids
Security GOOD
Encoding cannot be changed
(But impostor could affix a new label over original QR Code, so logo/branding is recommended)
GOOD
Tag can be locked after encoding
(But impostor could replace with a new tag)
BEST FOR Smartposters
High volume printed materials
Digital signs, large screens
Email communications
Websites, blogs, tweets
Smartposters
Promotional items & giveaways