ABI Research: RFID Bright Spots to Outpace Overall Market Growth

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is being used or trialed in a variety of industries. Global economic conditions and business necessities have resulted in mixed outcomes: in some areas RFID still faces challenges, while in others, it is thriving. Early this year, ABI Research identified three of the most promising hot- pots as the retail apparel segment, asset management and active RFID in a number of verticals.

“2009 has confirmed those assessments,” said RFID Practice Director Michael Liard. “All three of these RFID application and technology areas have shown strong growth, and today account for 9.3 percent of the total RFID market, with combined revenues of more than half a billion dollars. We expect the trend to continue in 2010 and beyond: apparel, asset management and active RFID should show a 12.7 percent combined compound annual growth rate through 2014, outpacing the overall RFID market growth. This is considered strong growth given the level of maturity of many RFID-based asset management applications.”

Specifically, adoption of item-level RFID in the fashion apparel market is graduating from pilot testing to full-scale deployment. While installations at Marks and Spencer in the U.K., American Apparel in the U.S. and Charles V?gele in Switzerland remain the largest contributors to market growth, scores of companies are now in various stages of implementation.

Asset tracking and management is showing particular applicability to work-in-process tracking, including spare parts and tools; Returnable Transport Items (RTIs); IT asset management; medical assets, rental item management (library books, media, laundry and more); and yard management. “Multiple RFID frequencies and technologies support asset management, affording opportunities for multiple vendors,” Liard said.

Active RFID-based solutions, including real-time location systems (RTLS), is expected to experience solid growth in a number of verticals, such as health care, manufacturing, aerospace and defense, transportation and commercial services; in support of asset tagging, people tracking and more.

ABI Research's “RFID Annual Market Overview” study provides a comprehensive, detailed overview of RFID technologies, applications and addressable vertical markets. It is intended to provide an actionable outline of the broad RFID market. It includes forecasts for RFID transponders, readers, software and integration services.
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