RFID Transforms Customer Service, Retailing and Consumer GoodsSeptember 23, 2010
Active RFID is a fast growing sector of the $5.63 billion global RFID market analyzed in the IDTechEx report "RFID Forecasts, Players, Opportunities 2011-2021". This market will grow about four times in value in the next years according to IDTechEx, which correctly forecast the recession-proof five times growth of the RFID market over the last 10 years. Part of that is three billion apparel tags being fitted in 2015 for example.
CETEMSSA in Spain is using similar RFID approaches for both consumer goods and healthcare. Of course, for the lower priced items, lower cost RFID is needed. But help is at hand here from Sunchon National University, EXAX and WCU in South Korea replacing the silicon chip with entirely printed RFID. There is now even RFID combined with holograms to provide potent anticounterfeiting of valuable items thanks to a new invention from Optaglio of the Czech Republic. Indeed, RFID to GS1 standards can subsume the anti-theft function and make shrinkage a thing of the past.
RFID-enabled mobile phones
RFID-enabled phones are at last becoming available beyond the 40+ million in action in Japan. The global Near Field Communication NFC standards a HF let such phones act as passive or active RFID tags and even as RFID readers. NFC is being used for mobile payments at centre Pompidou's Teen Gallery. Twinlinx is progressing this type of application. In due course there could be over one billion mobile phones supplied yearly with this capability as standard, subsuming city car, financial card and other functionality. People using a mobile phone instead of a computer, wristwatch, alarm clock, video game etc will also use it in place of cards.
sQuid is an independent eMoney network that enables consumers to safely and securely pre-load money on to a sQuid account, which can then be used to make contactless payment for the little things in life, instead of using cash. sQuid's unique pre-pay application enables cashless payments for many different functions such as eMoney for retail payments, ITSO (Transit) schemes, Council card initiatives (such as Bolton's BSmart), school cashless catering, campus environments and retail loyalty programmes.
Improving customer service
It is being realized that RFID can greatly improve customer service beyond making it more likely that what you want is in stock. This applies in retailing and also in the hospitality industry where RTP LLC in the United States is creating a new customer experience using RFID. Queralt and Cypak are improving healthcare customer services with RFID and Guide Dogs for the Blind in the UK is using RFID to help the blind to go shopping. Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Finland is perfecting RFID for people flow management. Cambridgeshire County Council in the UK has an excellent adoption of RFID for library management that customers hugely appreciate.
At the event RFID Europe 2010 in Cambridge, UK, all of the 20 leaders mentioned above will be presenting plus a host of others. There will be visits to Cambridge County Library and Cambridge Auto ID centre to see relevant work as well as the Marshall aerospace because aerospace, transportation and manufacturing is also a major focus of the event with presentations from BMW, Goodyear, Cubic, Copenhagen Airports, Smartrac (moving beyond global leadership in passport RFID) and others covering this aspect. Energy, healthcare and animals are also thoroughly covered.
Delegates from 16 European countries, the United States, Argentina, India, Korea and Singapore have already booked and there are optional master classes before and after the event, an awards dinner and an exhibition.
For full details and registration, visit www.IDTechEx.com/RFIDeurope.
By Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx
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