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RFID News Roundup

Checkpoint Systems reports momentum building for RFID ••• U.S. Navy successfully demos RFID inventory application offshore ••• Steamboat, Winter Park resorts installing RFID technology ••• Target tests beacons at 50 stores ••• Indian Water Park implements RFID-enabled solution ••• Bluetooth beacon shipments to break 400 million units in 2020.
By Beth Bacheldor

Indian Water Park Implements RFID-Enabled Solution

Aqua Village, a water and amusement park located in Pinjore, India, has implemented Semnox Solutions' RFID-enabled park-management solution, according to Semnox. Aqua Village, which is spread across four acres of land and faces the foothills of the Himalayas, has installed more than 600 RFID-based lockers.

Aqua Village's RFID-enabled lockers
The solution employs 13.56 MHz RFID wristbands and readers compliant with the ISO 14443 A standard, and also includes an electronic entry ticketing system. In addition, the company says, the RFID technology is integrated with Semnox's Parafait Cashless Solution so that a single RFID wristband can be used for all operations at the park.

At the Aqua Village entrance, guests are issued the RFID-based silicon wristbands, which they can then use to rent and access the lockers, purchase food and beverages at the park's restaurant, purchase souvenirs and more. The solution was implemented in June, according to Manuel Praveen, Semnox's client manager.

Bluetooth Beacon Shipments to Exceed 400 Million Units in 2020

Worldwide shipments of Blue beacons—which use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), or Smart Bluetooth, technology—are expected to exceed 400 million units in 2020, according to a new report from ABI Research.

The report, titled "BLE Tags and the Location of Things," also reveals that by 2020, pure beacon shipment revenues are expected to break $1 billion. "That is our current projection," says Patrick Connolly, ABI Research's principal analyst, "but if we include related revenues like analytics, maintenance and advertising, this number is expected to reach $10 billion-plus."

"In 2015, we are seeing the first stages of adoption across a huge range of markets. Retail will always take the headlines, but there are also strong shipments now in asset tracking, smart city/tourism, hospitals, airports and personal smartphone applications," Connolly states. "We are also seeing the first forays into connected home and the broader IoT market, which has huge potential. There is also a huge, long tail of developers and niche-market use cases that collectively represent a sizeable market."

The quantity of beacons that will ship in 2015 is expected to reach the millions, Connolly reports, adding that some individual vendors may even break the 1 million mark this year. Revenues remain low at present, he adds, as they are largely based on current hardware. But OEMs are now moving to service models, Connolly says, and that is where the real long-term revenue lies.

The report identifies three interesting verticals: asset tracking, vending machines and dedicated beacon advertising networks, where OEMs like Gimbal, Sensoro, Kontakt.io and Bluvision are having initial success. According to the research firm, the significant advances around network management, meshing, technology hybridization and software-based beacon upgrades are creating confidence for huge shipments for previously unexpected purposes, such as asset tracking and industrial applications.

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