RFID and the ‘big picture’

By Control Engineering Staff May 31, 2006

Radio Frequency Identification—RFID—has many uses. In one form or another it is found in fields as varied as supply chain logistics, aerospace and defense, automotive, border security, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, retail, transportation and more. Although many reports published by ABI Research and other analysts address specific vertical markets and RFID applications, their diversity has often made it difficult for investors, governments, integration service providers, end-users, developers and others to grasp the bigger RFID picture and to understand the landscape of this rapidly growing collection of markets.

That gap has now been filled by a new ABI Research study,‘RFID Annual Market Overview: Vertical Market and Application Market Overviews for Tags, Readers, Software and Services.’ It provides a high-level, but still detailed, examination of RFID technologies, applications, and addressable vertical markets by region, and is intended to give readersa general outline of the broad RFID market.

According to Erik Michielsen, director, RFID and Ubiquitous Networks Research, “RFID shows nuances across technologies, active and passive designs, and a wide range of frequency bands. This study not only explains these technologies, but also identifies the relevant applications for them and how vertical markets are building use-cases for them within application and business process environments.”

The research also highlights the differences between low-growth RFID applications such as access control, animal tracking and vehicle immobilization, and high-growth applications such as personal identification documents, contactless point-of-sale and item-level RFID tracking.

“The study includes a number of vendor profiles,” adds Michielsen, “and it’s worth pointing out they are not intended to be any kind of ‘Top 30’ list; rather, they have been chosen to reflect the wide range of specializations, company sizes and global locations that characterize the massive RFID ecosystem.”

ABI Research also publishes a number of focused studies that provide in-depth, ongoing coverage for more advanced RFID research topics.

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Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering

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