One tag, two codes: Identifying optical barcodes with NFC

Zhenlin An, Qiongzheng Lin, Xiaopeng Zhao, Lei Yang, Dongliang Zheng, Guiqing Wu, Shan Chang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Barcodes and NFC have become the de facto standards in the field of automatic identification and data capture. These standards have been widely adopted for many applications, such as mobile payments, advertisements, social sharing, admission control, and so on. Recently, considerable demands require the integration of these two codes (barcode and NFC code) into a single tag for the functional complementation. To achieve the goal of "one tag, two codes"(OTTC), this work proposes CoilCode, which takes advantage of the printed electronics to fuse an NFC coil antenna into a QR code on a single layer. The proposed code could be identified by cameras and NFC readers. With the use of the conductive inks, QR code and NFC code have become an essential part of each other: the modules of the QR code facilitate the NFC chip in harvesting energy from the magnetic field, while the NFC antenna itself represents bits of the QR code. Compared to the prior dual-layer OTTC, CoilCode is more compact, cost-effective, flimsy, flexible, and environment-friendly, and also reduces the fabrication complexity considerably. We prototyped hundreds of CoilCodes and conducted comprehensive evaluations (across 4 models of NFC chips and 8 kinds of NFC readers under 13 different system configurations). CoilCode demonstrates high-quality identification results for QR code and NFC functions on a wide range of inputs and under different distortion effects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM MobiCom 2021 - Proceedings of the 27th ACM Annual International Conference On Mobile Computing And Networking
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383424
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021
Event27th ACM Annual International Conference On Mobile Computing And Networking, MobiCom 2021 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 25 Oct 202129 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM


Conference27th ACM Annual International Conference On Mobile Computing And Networking, MobiCom 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


  • barcodes
  • cross-technology communication
  • NFC
  • reinforcement learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software


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