Latest RFID forecasts from analyst firm ABI Research show that the value of the overall market will pass the $6 billion mark next year. This includes both traditional applications such as access control, automobile immobilization, electronic toll collection, and e-ID/ID documents as well as “modernizing” applications such as animal ID, asset management, baggage handling, cargo tracking/security, contactless payment and ticketing, RTLS, and supply chain management.
These forecasts and key market trends are part of the 2010 edition of the firm’s annual overview of the RFID market. Practice director Michael Liard sums up the “big picture” as generally optimistic despite last year’s economic woes. “In response to the weakened economy,” says Liard, “most RFID and RTLS value chain participants reported reductions to marketing expenditure, staff, and on-hand inventory levels beginning in late 2008 and continuing throughout 2009.”
However, as the end of 2009 approached, ABI Research’s conversations with vendors and solutions providers grew more positive; the market was growing, orders were being placed, and user interest was picking up across industries.
“Overall 2009 continued the forward momentum for both RFID solution providers and the user community,” says Liard. “That trend continues in 2010.” The latest research indicates compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of between 21.7 percent and 28.8 percent for the five primary applications over the period 2010 to 2014.
Representative of the industry’s generally cheerful outlook is Wal-Mart’s recent multi-billion unitpassive UHF RFID apparel tag and 15,000+ handheld reader RFP order and its expected U.S. rollout, which some observers believe has sparked renewed interest in RFID for item-level tracking.