According to a research report by IDtechex, the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) market is in a hyper growth phase. The technology through wireless contacts automates distribution, inventory management and helps in increasing customer satisfaction. Today the RFID market size is around $9.2 billion.
The report notes that the high growth of RFID is visible in tags, readers and software/services for RFID labels, cards, fobs and other forms. IDTechEx makes a forecast that the market size will grow to $30.24 billion in 2024. This will be on the back of RFID applications in retail and apparel tagging clocking higher growth. Those applications demands 3 billion RFID labels in 2014 itself and RFID will be penetrating 7 percent of the total addressable market for apparel this year.
According to Mark Roberti, in his report in the RFID journal, the applications of RFID are moving to hitherto unimaginable areas. The RFID technology has now bust the myth that it does not work around water or metal.
Marks & Spencer has now showed that RFID can work in tagging all non-food items including pots, pans, perfumes and other tough-to-tag items. The retail major Marks & Spencer designed EPC Gen 2 RFID tags of different sizes and shapes in association with Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) for use in a wide range of merchandise including metals and liquids.
Some 10 tags were made to meet the aesthetic requirements of cosmetics. To ensure that tags work well M&S conducted tests at a mock store. After accurate results the tags were tested at operational stores. After being satisfied it was rolled out for all non-food items in all the retail chains.
Philips IBM pact
The new innovations can be attributed to the intervention of big players like Philips and IBM who had sealed a pact on RFID. A Tech News report on the deal had predicted a sharp impact on supply-chain, retail management and smart-card solutions in finance, e-government, transportation and event ticketing as the target areas of application.
The Tech News report by Jay Leyman had quoted many analysts including Adam Zawel vouching that the RFID market of supply chains and mobile-commerce applications are ripe for exploration. With adoption barriers having crumbled in terms of price of RFID tags, accuracy issues and standards RFID's larger potential is getting unveiled.