Latest RFID forecasts from ABI Research indicate that the value of the overall market including 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 will pass the US$6 billion mark next year.
These forecasts and key market trends are part of the 2010 edition of the firm's annual overview of the whole RFID market. Practice Director Michael Liard sums up the “big picture” as generally optimistic despite last year's economic woes and growing more so. “In response to the weakened economy, 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,” he said.
As the end of 2009 approached, however, 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,” Liard said. “That trend continues in 2010.” The latest research indicates CAGRs of between 21.7 percent and 28.8 percent for the five primary applications over the period from 2010 to 2014.
Emblematic of the industry's generally cheerful outlook is Wal-Mart's recent multibillion unit passive UHF RFID apparel tag and more than 15,000 handheld reader RFP order and its expected US rollout, which some observers believe has sparked renewed interest in RFID for item-level tracking.