RFID – The next big Thing

The Need and Benefits of RFID

RFID is among the niche technology innovation by mankind that comes with a bouquet of advantages which helps in reducing the generic challenges faced by organization resulting from long time consuming process, Identified /Unidentified Human Error, Tracking and Tracing, Pilferage, Counterfeiting, and absence of transparency. As an Industry, we all work for deadlines and any discrepancies arising out it is a cost to the organization, this cost indirectly affects the profits /margins of the business.

The benefits of this technology can be seen in the form of better transparency in the system, real time information updates which helps in quick decision making, Better accountability, Elimination of Human errors, resulting in better profit margins and high compliance levels.

These days applications of RF technology can be referred to in our day to day life like Metro transport smart Card, automatic pass system at toll gates, wristbands worn by staff at petrol pumps, windshield tags on new 4 wheelers, keyless entry in vehicles, cashless cards at food court in malls etc.

Revolutionizing IoT with RFID

The power of RFID is even more evident when we look at emerging opportunities for RFID in the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape. The number and range of IoT applications that can be envisioned with RFID devices are tremendous. The inherent value of RFID lies in enabling “things” to report data in real time for faster, quicker, more interactive decisions both at the industrial level and increasingly at the consumer level.

One of such examples in everyday life is automated home, where people can interact with everyday devices in their homes. This vision of the future sees appliances such as refrigerators being aware of their ‘state’, and knowing when to order and replenish groceries; electronics such as lighting, music and TV automatically tuning to individual preferences, which can be managed by presence (proximity to RF-enabled device), by time or by sensory input; access solutions, whether logical ones for Wi-Fi user authorization, or hands-free operation of doors and windows…. the possibilities are truly endless.

In the Race to Win 

The global RFID market is highly competitive with the presence of well-established global market participants. Companies like Alien Technology, CAEN RFID, Impinj, Invengo, Motorola, Convergence Systems etc which acts on a macro level followed by Asian players like BCIL, Honeywell, Eco Tracksys, 3M etc dealing in multiple RFID related domains at micro level.

There is a tremendous demand for customized solutions like Library Management, Campus Automation, Vehicle Tracking, Asset Management, Industrial Automation and Laundry Tracking etc and each vendor aims to provide a unique package of innovative and cost effective RFID solutions to its clients where ‘identification’, ‘authentication’ and ‘automation’ are of prime concern. The deployed solutions helps the companies realize their hidden and invisible operational inefficiencies and thus makes the system more efficient with reduced wastage and costs. Data Analytics is further used to analyze the data collected through deployment of RFID solutions which in turn help the companies to take strategic decisions at the right time.

Trends and Challenges

One of the biggest challenges in this Industry is the lack of awareness amongst its users. RFID components which are generally exported from European and Asian markets are a bit more costly than their traditional counterparts like Barcode, EM and EAS which makes it difficult for medium and small scale organizations to adopt and migrate to RFID technology. However RFID will continue to grow in its established niche where barcode and other optical technologies are not effective. It is expected that within a time spam of next 3-5 years the cost of RFID Readers and tags will fall enough to allow the market to adapt it at a massive level and thus give a boost to the existing and new vendors in the market.

Government of various countries suck US, UK and China have mandate use of RFID for projects related to citizen identification and counterfeiting. Such policies have fuelled the growth of RFID market globally

There has been a 30-35% increase in government initiatives towards adaption of RFID Technology in e – governance, security enhancements and industrial automation during the last 2 years. Domains like education, power and energy, oil and gas, Defense, mining and natural resources, transportation and logistics have received major adaptions and funding for automation throughout its value chain.

The RFID market size in 2015 was $ 10 billion is expected to cross $ 25 billion by 2020. Of this total market size, the RFID Tags are expected to contribute to a little more than half of the value of the total RFID market. The tag market will grow at a CAGR of 23% followed by the reader segment growing at 20.9%.

While US still leads and contributes to more than half of the RFID Market size, Asia Pacific and Middle East will be the next hot spot for the industry on account of rapid growth and development initiatives by the private and the government. With 100 smart cities project announced by government of India, the scope for expansion and growth becomes huge in this domain for Indian players. RFID shall continue to be a niche market for its vendors and each will thrive to make smarter industries with focus on manufacturing, education, retail, transport and healthcare