RFID is not necessarily “better” than bar codes. The two are different technologies and have different applications, which sometimes overlap. The big difference between the two is bar codes are line-of-sight technology. That is, a scanner has to “see” the bar code to read it, which means people usually have to orient the bar code towards a scanner for it to be read. Radio frequency identification, by contrast, doesn’t require line of sight. RFID tags can be read as long as they are within range of a reader. Bar codes have other shortcomings as well. If a label is ripped, soiled or falls off, there is no way to scan the item. And standard bar codes identify only the manufacturer and product, not the unique item. This ability to track individual items, as opposed to just SKU level, provides visibility to shrink, expiration dates, and allows visibility to the entire genealogy of the product. The bar code on one milk carton is the same as every other, making it impossible to identify which one might pass its expiration date first. RFID’s shortcomings include tags unable to read due to their chips being damaged and some environmental challenges including metal and water.