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During April, we visited San Diego to attend RFID Journal LIVE! 2015, which is the world’s largest and most influential conference for radio frequency identification and related technologies. During our time at RFID Journal LIVE!, we had the opportunity to explore the exhibit hall and attended a variety of seminars and workshops. As always, the event was entertaining, informative, and featured the cutting edge of RFID technology; we learned of various developments and new products. Here are the top three things we gleaned from the conference:
- RFID and IoT continue to gain momentum
The RFID market is enormous, and it will continue to grow because it can be applied to a large variety of industries. While we were in attendance at RFID Journal LIVE!, it was clear to us that the Chinese government is continuing to identify RFID as a definite hit industry that is here to stay. They have been making a concerted effort to get a foothold in the United States, and the Chinese government continues to make large investments in RFID worldwide – including at events like RFID Journal LIVE! This is vital to the RFID industry because China holds around 85% of the world’s manufacture capacity of RFID tags. RFID is expected to become a $4+ billion market in China in the next decade, so their continued support is refreshing to see.
Another term that is gaining momentum, especially where RFID is concerned, is the Internet of Things (IoT). The term has been a hot topic on television and with technology providers like IBM and AT&T, so it came as no surprise to see it mentioned throughout the RFID Journal event. IoT is an idea that is frequently described as a community of technologies that monitors physical objects, captures important information, and properly communicates that information to software applications. RFID is a recurring theme within this idea, and we expect it to continue to play a part in the growth of the Internet of Things.
- Some industries are starting to better understand the true potential of RFID
Around 10 years ago, it was common to see industries using RFID in extremely technical ways, such as tracking as many items as possible for their entire life cycles. The aviation industry was particularly guilty of this blunder. In an attempt to track every item on an aircraft, the aviation industry actually made RFID a roadblock to technological innovation. Now that manufacturers are simplifying the technology and its applications, RFID has quickly gained renewed interest among airlines. From what we’ve seen, there is a very competitive race among top carriers to use RFID in airline safety and security.
- RFID is leading to BYOD opportunities in retail
At this point, most or all of the top retailers have instituted RFID in their inventories and omnichannel applications that utilize high-end RFID products. It is now time for SMBs to implement their inventory solutions via Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) products. Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way many businesses utilize technology, and it should be no different for the retail industry. Some manufacturers are beginning to create solutions that bring RFID capabilities to smartphones and tablets. BYOD RFID scanning offers retailers the highest level of flexibility available from handheld devices.
RFID Journal LIVE! is billed as the largest and most influential conference of its kind, and it certainly lives up to its reputation. The RFID industry is continuing to grow in popularity, and the number of applications that can benefit from the technology is greater than ever before. Next year’s RFID Journal LIVE! event is sure to offer even greater insights to attendees.