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How I Fared on 2015's Predictions

The RFID industry made progress, but not as I had expected.
By Mark Roberti
Jan 06, 2016

In my first column of a new year, I usually spell out what I expect will happen in the radio frequency identification industry during the coming year. I'd like to start this year by taking a look back at my last predictions (see 10 Predictions for 2015). Next week, I'll share my thoughts on 2016.

Prediction 1: Apparel retailers will continue to adopt RFID.
This was hardly a bold forecast. Most retailers understand the technology's value, so it was inevitable that we would see greater adoption in the industry. Kohl's and other retailers announced large-scale deployments (see Kohl's Rolls Out RFID for Select Product Categories at Its Stores).

Prediction 2: A major nonapparel retail chain will roll out RFID chain-wide.
This proved to be true. Decathlon, an international sporting goods retailer, has rolled out the technology (see Decathlon Sees Sales Rise and Shrinkage Drop, Aided by RFID). But I am disappointed that we didn't see others outside of apparel retail announcing deployments (many pilots are currently underway).

Prediction 3: Interest in RFID will expand across all industries, driven by news of big retail deployments.
I can't say we saw more deployments outside of the retail sector than in previous years, but I do believe there has been a growing awareness of RFID and an interest is growing outside of retail. I see it in our Web traffic and newsletter signups.

Prediction 4: Continued expansion of the Airbus RFID initiative will drive adoption in the airline industry.
Again, I can't point to specific deployments or hard numbers regarding adoption, but I definitely see an increase in subscribers from the airline and aerospace sectors. I also saw greater interest at the International Air Transport Association's RFID & Paperless Aircraft Technical Operations Conference event (see IATA Event Suggests Airlines Are Embracing RFID).

Prediction 5: Consolidation in the RFID industry will continue.
This was definitely the case, with Zebra Technologies buying Motorola Solutions' enterprise division, SML acquiring Xterprise, and some smaller companies closing up shop (see Consolidation in the RFID Industry Continues).

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