RFID tag development trends and market growth opportunities


RFID tag development trends and market growth opportunities

Given the difference in costs, RFID should not be considered as a pure alternative to barcodes. Companies that are considering investing money in RFID systems should understand their unique capabilities (and limits) in order to make the most of them in terms of process improvement and ROI.

Below you will find a comparison chart between RFID and barcode technology.

Line of sight
Not required
Reading distance
From 1 mm to dozens of meters
Few centimetres
Read rate
Hundreds of tags can be read simultaneously
One at a time
Dynamic updates
Can be always updated
Static data
Amount of data storage
Human assistance
Virtually none
Type of identification
Can univocally identify each item
Can typically identify only the type of the item
Very difficult (using unique tag ID)
Quite simple
Durability in harsh environments
High (converted tags)
Problems due to metals and liquids presence
High for some types of tags
Capability to be read when dirty
Event triggering
Capable to trigger events such as door opening, alarms etc.
Not capable
Public/Reserved data storage
Public and reserved
Only Public

RFID tag manufacturers are becoming increasingly committed to developing products conceived for specific applications and yet that are, at the same time, standardized and affordable.

There are some application fields, such as the tracking of low cost consumer goods, where the current manufacturing costs of RFID tags prevent their adoption. In order to lower RFID tag costs, some companies are working on processes that would make it possible to print RFID tags directly onto good plastic packages. These technologies could be available in the market in few years.

In conclusion, the standardization and drop in costs of RFID hardware is making its use affordable in more and more verticals markets and applications, starting a technological revolution that will change not only business processes, but also many consumer habits.

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