RFID: 5 predictions for radio frequency identification from AIM Global

Warrendale, PA — Five predictions highlight trends, developments, and innovations that will impact the radio frequency identification (RFID) industry in 2008 and beyond, according to AIM Global, a worldwide industry trade association and authority on automatic identification and mobility solutions.


Warrendale, PA — Five predictions highlight trends, developments, and innovations that will impact the radio frequency identification (


) industry in 2008 and beyond, according to

AIM Global

, a worldwide industry trade association and authority on automatic identification and mobility solutions. Briefly, these are:

1. Consumers will see more innovative, practical RFID applications in familiar settings, such as sports and toy and food safety. Innovative RFID deployments are now being seen in the sports, healthcare, toy manufacturing, and food processing sectors to guarantee product integrity and safety. In sports, companies are using RFID to authenticate memorabilia; expedite skiers through lift lines; validate tickets at events, including the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. With recalls of food and toys this year, RFID enables tracking of the origins of compromised items.

2. Expanded integration of RFID into mobile devices and electronics will provide consumers with new services, greater convenience. Handset manufacturers, network providers, search engine companies, and software providers view mobile devices and consumer electronics as tools for interacting with and providing services to users. Consumers use multi-functional mobile devices to manage voice calls, email, text messages, multimedia, location-based information, and personal finance accounts. In 2008, as RFID readers are integrated into these devices, more applications will be available.

3. Convergence of RFID and other wireless technologies is inevitable. Access to more granular information about location, identification, movement, temperature, and security of products can provide convenience and value to businesses and consumers. Ongoing convergence of RFID, RTLS, GPS, sensor, and other wireless technologies in 2008 will spur a disappearance of the acronyms as users become accustomed to benefits they make possible.

4. RFID technologies will enhance homeland security initiatives. From transportation worker ID cards, to border cards, to RFID-based e-Seals on cargo containers, RFID is deployed to improve homeland security without hampering international trade. The ability to automatically identify workers with biometrics and wireless authentication, as well as e-Seals that alert officials to unauthorized openings of containers are examples of how RFID will address vulnerabilities in the global supply chain.

5. RFID deployments will gain traction within "The First 100 Feet" of the supply chain, as well as "The Last 100 Feet" at retail. International shippers and manufacturers are focusing on item-level tagging of goods, and tagging of containers at source factories, known as "The First 100 Feet," because it is less expensive and offers greater end-to-end visibility. This results in effective management of goods, and lower manufacturing and shipping costs, and also enables product authentication at the beginning of the supply chain. It facilitates detection of tampering, theft, or terrorist intrusions to containers, which may involve 10-20 "hand-offs" of the container by different parties. In retail environments, referred to as "The Last 100 Feet," more inroads of RFID into storefronts and other applications will occur in 2008 and will demonstrate the value of RFID throughout the retail supply chain, increasing sales by ensuring availability and cross-selling of related items.

"Throughout its 35-year history, AIM Global has invested significant time and resources in closely monitoring RFID industry trends to provide strategic, real-time guidance to its diverse membership base," said Dan Mullen, president of AIM Global. "These predictions showcase the priorities, segments, and applications, which enterprises can potentially leverage in the coming year to benefit their respective businesses. Furthermore, this forecast also provides strong anecdotal evidence regarding the ongoing evolution of the RFID industry, and how these changing dynamics are accelerating the development of beneficial consumer-oriented applications in many different environments."

AIM Global publishes RFID Connections , the industry's oldest e-newsletter on RFID, free, as part of its educational outreach.

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