Whenever near-field communication technology hits the headlines, it is always being compared to QR codes. This was the case when Google replaced QR codes with NFC patches for its Google Places, and also when Google announced that it was going to use NFC for its Wallet service. Recently, Nokia announced that they were more bent on using NFC for their NFC hub, and QR codes were mentioned in numerous reports as being on the way out.
But is NFC technology actually better than QR codes, or is it the other way around?
When it comes to features, it seems that NFC can win the battle. Both NFC and QR codes can easily bridge the online and offline world and could take users to different websites, videos and other content. Both are very flexible and could be used for a lot of applications. But unlike QR codes, NFC has fewer chances to fail. You can still use NFC even if you have shaky hands just as long as you hold you device up at less than 2 centimeters from the receiver. You just wave or tap, and you get an effortless way to connect. QR codes could fail if you do not have the right reader, or you do not get a steady shot.
ROUND 1: NFC wins!
NFC’s strong point is mobile payments. This early, NFC is being touted as the best contactless payment platform. Customers only need to wave their NFC-enable phones and devices and they can easily pay for their groceries, food, gasoline and other purchases. While mobile payments are also possible via QR codes, it is more of bridge to a third-party site. For instance, a customer can scan a QR code and pay through PayPal. It is more cumbersome for people to pay with a QR code
ROUND 2: NFC wins!
With two wins, then near-field communication might be the champion in this wireless technology boxing match. But are QR codes really that inferior? Stay tuned tomorrow for the story on the other side of the coin.
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