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10 Predictions for 2016

This will be a good year for the RFID industry, especially for companies selling systems to retail and apparel businesses.
By Mark Roberti
Jan 11, 2016

As I do at the beginning of every year, I'd like to offer a list of developments I expect to see in 2016. These are based on trends from the past few years, as well as data collected by RFID Journal and, occasionally, a hunch or two.

1. It will be a year of solid growth for the RFID industry, with companies focused on retail and apparel doing especially well. If the global economy remains stable, we will see more retailers moving from the pilot phase to the rollout phase. Those that have already rolled out the technology will expand those rollouts. I don't expect the industry to reach the tipping point, but there will be solid growth in RFID's use in this sector. All other sectors will also see growth, but not to the same degree.

2. Aerospace, construction and energy will be three industries that also outpace the rest of the market. (While growth will be strong, they will lag behind the retail sector). I see more companies in these three industries subscribing to RFID Journal. In aerospace, the driver is adoption by the two big aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing. Construction companies are trying to reduce historical inefficiencies, while energy companies need to cut costs in the face of depressed oil prices.

3. Consolidation of RFID suppliers will continue. Although the large RFID vendors—reader manufacturers, chipmakers and tag providers—will all do well this year, smaller companies that have not built a brand will struggle to find new business. Some of those with good technology will run low on cash and be acquired; others without good technology will likely go out of business.

4. Someone with authority at Microsoft will realize that RFID represents a massive opportunity for the company. There are signs that Microsoft and other large technology firms are starting to pay some attention to RFID, because they see how it will drive growth in cloud computing.

5. Low-cost passive RFID sensors will be deployed in increasing numbers. We've written about a number of very interesting applications of RFID sensors in the automotive and construction industry. Other sectors will start to see the value of being able to monitor the environment and adopt these sensors.

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