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What Will RFID Be Like in the Future?

Posted By RFID Journal, 02.14.2012
What is your prediction, as an expert in the field of radio frequency identification?

—Name withheld

I predict that in 1,000 years, radio frequency identification transponders will no longer be able to speak—it will be bar codes that will have evolved that capability. This change will be precipitated by experiments conducted on bar codes, in an effort to create a cure for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

No, wait, sorry—that's what will happen to apes and humans.

I think passive high-frequency (HF) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, as well as active tags, will evolve in the same way as virtually all other electronic devices—namely, they will get smaller, better and less expensive. This process has already begun, in fact. If you look back at passive UHF tags from a few years ago, you'll recall that they were more expensive, as well as inferior in performance and functionality, to what we have today.

I believe that retail apparel will be the first sector to embrace RFID on a large scale. The use of hundreds of billions of tags annually on clothing will drive down cost, giving RFID companies the revenue they need to keep innovating. As prices come down, tags will become affordable for applications in which they are not economically practical at present. That, in turn, will drive volume and innovation.

Today's smart phones are far more powerful than the first desktop computers were. So you can imagine that the potential for RFID transponders to make everyday items smarter and more easily tracked and managed is enormous.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor,
RFID Journal

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