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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

6. We will continue to see incremental innovations that make RFID more reliable and less complex to deploy. During the past few years, passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags and readers have improved dramatically. The focus now will be on simplifying deployments and making systems scalable. This is critical if RFID is going to be used by retailers across hundreds of thousands of stores. But the advancements will benefit all enterprise users.

7. Investors will venture back into the RFID market. I predicted last year that venture capitalists would invest in RFID companies again, which didn't happen. But I continue to see interest among VCs, private equity firms and other investors. As the market picks up, I think investors will back companies that have a strategic edge in the market.

8. Drones and robots will continue to be combined with RFID to automate data collection. RFID has always been about automating data collection, freeing up workers from this task so they can focus on more value-added activities. We might not see any large deployments, but end users across a variety of industries will continue to explore the potential of drones and robots.

9. One solution provider will combine RFID and video analytics in a new and innovative way that will open up some novel applications. I'm taking a flyer on this one, because I have not yet seen any vendor with an interesting prototype. But someone out there has to be smart enough to see that these are highly complementary technologies.

10. Our RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition—being held in Orlando, Fla., on May 3-5, 2016—will be the best-attended event in its history. This is not just promotion for our upcoming event. We've seen solid growth in attendance for the past two years, and if that trend continues, we will top our best year in terms of number of attendees, which was 2008. Right now, we are on pace to do that. I believe that if the U.S. economy remains steady, the trend will continue.

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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