Definition

smart label

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A smart label is an item identification slip that contains more advanced technologies than conventional bar code data. The most common enhancements in smart labels are QR codes, Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags and specially configured RFID tags.

QR codes are a type of 2D bar code that provides easy access to information through a smartphone or other device equipped with a barcode reader. 2D bar codes can store up to 7,089 characters, significantly greater storage than is possible with the 20-character capacity of a unidimensional barcode. QR code smart labels are often used to facilitate package shipping.

Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tag-based smart labels are commonly used to prevent theft of library books and merchandise in stores. When the item is checked out or purchased, the tag is deactivated. If someone tries to leave the premises with an item with an active tag, an alarm sounds. 

RFID tag-based smart labels are commonly used in manufacturing. They consist of a flat configuration of an RFID tag inserted into an item identification slip. 

This was last updated in November 2012

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