The Business Case for Active RFID
With the ability to track, locate and sense, Active RFID is being rapidly adopted around the World, often creating new markets. Many adopters have reported a rapid return on investment (ROI) of 12 to 18 months which is leading to active RFID being a $6.78 billion market in 2016. Here Dan Lawrence summarizes the topic for the forthcoming IDTechEx Active RFID Summit event.
The use of Active RFID is growing rapidly, providing the ability to track, locate and sense. The subject includes real time locating systems (RTLS) to track assets and people in real time; near field communication (NFC) enabling mobile phones to act as both tags and readers enabling new consumer services and propositions such as faster payments; and low cost wireless sensor labels monitoring the condition of products as well as tracking and tracing them.
Users of conventional active RFID systems typically report a return on investment period of 12 to 18 months - despite the high tag cost - because since the tag is reused, often on high value assets, the cost per use can be very low. Active RFID has recently been moving to the forefront as open standards enable wide spread confidence to adopt the technology and as the technologies improve and reduce in cost.
IDTechEx research has determined that the sales of active systems including the tags will now grow very rapidly from $0.55 billion in 2006 to $6.78 billion 2016. Often this is done by replacing nothing - new markets are created.
In an analysis of 75 Active RFID case studies from 18 countries by IDTechEx, the largest number of projects was in logistics which had around twice the number of each of the nearest contenders - air industry, automotive/transportation and healthcare. In the case studies, the main items that were tagged were containers, followed by vehicles, conveyances and people, and this probably reflects the market as a whole. Car remote locking devices are products in their own right of course and do not tag anything. Tagging people is a significant and growing sector.