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2012: A Year of Progress

End users rolled out new RFID applications and expanded existing deployments, the technology continued to improve, and there were some major acquisitions.
By Mark Roberti
A second area in which RFID made progress is in the quality of RFID systems. There are too many interesting new products to name them all here, but a few that come to mind are Xerafy's flexible tag for monitoring metal items (see RFID News Roundup: Xerafy Introduces Flexible UHF Inlay for Tracking Metal Assets), Omni-ID's 0.05-inch-thick metal-mount tag (see Omni-ID Launches UltraThin Metal-Mount Tags), and Intelleflex's all-in-one reader with GPS and cellular technology for transmitting temperature data (see Intelleflex Launches Self-Contained Reader to Bring Visibility to Remote Sites). And Intel, working with Impinj, developed a design for linking embedded RFID chips to microprocessors that could jump-start RFID adoption within the consumer electronics industry (see Game Changer?).

Finally, 2012 was a year of major acquisitions. In June, Motorola Solutions and Psion reached an agreement under which Motorola purchased the British handheld computer manufacturer for $200 million (see Motorola to Broaden Handheld Reader Portfolio With Psion Acquisition). The deal also expanded Motorola's footprint in Europe.

That same month, Stanley Healthcare Solutions, a division of Stanley Black & Decker, acquired real-time location system (RTLS) provider AeroScout (see Stanley Healthcare Solutions Acquires Wi-Fi-based RTLS Company AeroScout). In September, a group of private investors purchased Savi Technology from Lockheed Martin (see Savi Technology Acquired by Private Investors). And in December, Honeywell announced that it was acquiring Intermec, a major provider of bar-code and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) Gen 2 RFID technology (see Honeywell to Buy Intermec).

These major acquisitions indicate that some hardware companies see great potential in the RFID market and are investing in the technology to strengthen their position as the market expands. Will software companies and IT integrators take similar steps? You'll have to wait until next week, when I plan to offer my predictions for 2013.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.

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