The IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase, a database of RFID case studies, now contains 2,000 examples of the technology in action. Analysis of the database reveals some general trends in the automatic identification and data collection industry.
- The largest number of case studies is in pallet/case tagging, probably because of mandates by the major retailers, IDTechEx reports.
- Item-level tagging accounts for almost as many case studies as pallet/case tagging. Such applications are growing faster than anticipated, perhaps because consumer goods companies have identified internal benefits from deploying the technology that go beyond the needs of their retail customers.
- Electronic Product Code (EPC) use is growing around the world. Still, the largest item-level user of RFID in retailing does not use EPC. U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer reportedly uses a simpler, cheaper technology.
- There are RFID activities in 76 countries, up from 49 countries eighteen months ago when IDTechEx had 1,000 case studies in its database.
- The largest RFID project remains the China ID card but the largest single RFID order that has ever been landed, by value, is the $425-million order given to Savi Technology for military applications. (Savi Technology was recently acquired by Lockheed Martin.)
- Active-tag systems are now popping up in more and more hospitals (for both asset and people tagging) and the healthcare industry in general, as well as theme parks and correctional facilities.
- Near Field UHF, an alternative to HF for item-level tagging may be getting some attention of late but its use is minimal as of yet.
IDTechEx’s 2,000th case study tells how a Dallas Hospital is tagging refrigerated drug vials to automate confirmation and provide real-time stock information. RFID interrogators are embedded into a refrigerator, which records when tagged vials are brought in. When a vial is removed it is logged with the supplier, and when the supply of vials reaches a pre-determined level an order for more vials is sent.
Source: IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase