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RFID market to reach $11.2 billion this year, says IDTechEx ••• RFID company Verigenics receives ISO 9001:2015 certification ••• B.O.S. launches RFID system for tracking inventory at produce packing house ••• ZKAccess releases multi-biometric RFID-based access-control device ••• Mobile Experts predicts asset-tracking IoT device market to triple by 2022.
By Rich Handley

Mobile Experts Predicts Asset-Tracking IoT Device Market to Triple by 2022

Mobile Experts has released a new report analyzing asset-tracking devices for the Internet of Things (IoT), titled "Asset Tracking IoT Devices 2017." The study illustrates future trends in the transportation, health-care, agriculture, industrial, retail and consumer markets. Technologies for each case are evaluated in detail, including Bluetooth, ultra-wideband (UWB), Wi-Fi, 802.15.4, LPWA, 2G, LTE, NB-IoT, 5G, satellite, infrared, ultrasound, Near Field Communication (NFC) and RFID.

Throughout the past three years, the company reports, technology changes have started to transform the market, with unlicensed LPWA, LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies improving long-range communications with inexpensive modules that can run for years on a small battery. Other improvements in Bluetooth and UWB technology also improve precision and range for the indoor location of devices, the report indicates.

"Basic tracking technologies, like bar codes and RFID, are used heavily in retail and logistics areas today," said Joe Madden, a principal analyst at Mobile Experts, in a prepared statement. "Around 9.6 billion RFID tags were used in 2016, despite the limitations in range and lack of real-time tracking capability. This marks an important baseline in asset tracking because low-cost RFID or bar-code tracking represent indirect competition for investment in enterprise markets, and RFID cost is only $0.10 to $0.50 per tag."

According to the report, roughly 10 million NB-IoT bicycles will be deployed in China this year, while LoRa devices will be found on pallets, trucks, forklifts and other key assets. In addition, the study finds, hospitals that use Wi-Fi to track major assets will have new options for tracking medicines, organs and other highly critical items. Cattle ranchers can increase yield by as much as 10 to 20 percent, the researchers add, as well as prevent theft, injury or other problems with herds.

"Overall, we expect annual shipments of asset-tracking IoT devices to grow from 22 million to 70 million by 2022," Madden said in the prepared statement. "What's more, about half of these devices will send data through a cloud-based service provider, driving service revenue growth from $2.2 billion in 2016 to $7.5 billion in 2022."

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