The market demand for RFID has been on the rise and has never looked back since 2001.
The use of RFID has been shifting from high-level security enhancement to everyday consumer applications. Credit cards today are embedded with RFID chips such as American Express's `Blue Card' and Exxon Mobile's `Speedpass'.
Giants in the retail industry including Wal-Mart, which has the largest retail market share in the US, and The Metro Group, which is one of the largest international German retailing groups, have adopted RFID for inventory tracking.
Airbus, the leading aeroplane manufacturer, uses RFID for asset tracking and logistics monitoring. Grand Island Public Library tags its books with RFID tags for easy tracking.
"The RFID industry will grow even more rapidly with more acceptance in the developing countries such as Asia and South Africa. It is forecast that RFID will be applied in industries that no one ever expected, and technological breakthroughs are expected in the coming years," says RCG Systems SA operations manager, Mike Cox.
RFID tags continue to be more compact with a higher communication range, more secure data transmission and more information can be communicated between tags and readers.
RFID technology is a combination of RFID tags, tag printers, readers and the system that coordinates the databases and readers. As the demand for RFID technology increases, there has also been a growth in the RFID printers market. It is forecast that the worldwide RFID printer/encoder market will grow 10-times to US$190-million by 2011.
The airline industry and healthcare industries are expected to be at the centre of development of RFID technologies. In particular, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed plans to adopt RFID tags at 80 airports within six years.
An average of 200 printers, which produce 15-million smart labels per year, will be adopted by each airport to facilitate baggage tagging.
In the healthcare industry, RFID tags and printers will be required for drugs inventory handling, patients and infant tagging and health monitoring. These two industries will continue to account for most market demand in the next five years.
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