RFID Transforms Customer Service, Retailing and Consumer Goods

NXP is the leading RFID chip supplier for this sector and most others. Avery Dennison is the leading RFID tag supplier to consumer goods and retailing applications by offering the UHF labels required, though it also offers HF inlays to the world’s favourite RFID frequency HF (13.56 MHz). RedBite Solutions and Sony Supply Chain Solutions are progressing RFID systems from factory-to-shelf applications that join up the dots. Indeed, Savi has made a huge success of applying RFID to heavy logistics such as intermodal containers using 433 MHz active tags.

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.

Wide scope

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.

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