Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for February
Baird has released its February report. The thirteen-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Feb 24, 2006
—This article was originally published by RFID Update.
February 24, 2006—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co., widely referred to as simply "Baird", has released its RFID Monthly for February. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which serves as the report summary. For those wanting more detail, the complete thirteen-page document is available free here. The report includes its usual matrix of primary RFID providers on page 10, and following are the Key Developments:
- Pricing Continues to Decline; Item Level Tagging Gaining Greater Traction. TAGSYS and Impinj have both announced item level UHF Gen 2 tagging solutions, with reduced pricing. TAGSYS announced that it has developed a UHF Generation 2 tag and is offering pricing for as low as $0.05-$0.08 per unit. Impinj indicated that its item level inlay/tag cost can be 20-30% lower than case level tags due to the smaller form factor/antenna required at the item level.
Item level tagging is one of the biggest issues we hear out of hardware providers in the last several weeks. We see the topic clearly gaining momentum faster than originally expected. Originally item level was thought to be the domain of the HF providers; however, we expect to see an increasing level of announcements from UHF providers that they offer item level solutions. EPCglobal will sponsor an item level "bake-off" for equipment providers to test their products against 7-8 different scenarios at the item level. We understand that the testing will take place on March 23-24.
- Pharma Piloting Measured. We understand that Glaxo Smith Kline will follow Pfizer's lead and begin tagging a single product within the next 2-3 months. We do not know the product, but expect that it will be a "Life Style Drug" or narcotic. Recall, Pfizer began tagging Viagra with RFID in January. We expect as many as eight drugs will be tested with RFID during 2006.
- More Silicon Expected; Reader Intro's Remain Slow. Several contacts have also indicated that they expect to see increased Gen 2 silicon availability in the next 2-4 months. We understand that Philips is very close to providing their chipsets, while TI will likely be ready by mid-to-late 2Q. Several end user contacts continue to work toward depleting Gen 1 inventory before more aggressively testing Gen 2. In addition, several end users suggest that they are having difficulty obtaining Gen 2 readers. We expect greater availability beginning in April.
- RFID Funding Continues. ThingMagic announced it had received additional private financing from Cisco and Nicholas Negroponte, an MIT professor and founding chairman of MIT's Media Laboratory. This latest round brings ThingMagic's total funding to $21 million. Recall, ThingMagic closed its Series A funding round in November with $15 million in proceeds from investors including the Tudor Group, Exxel Group, Inventec Appliances, Morningside Technology Ventures, and Top Line Growth Capital. In addition, I.D. Systems announced a proposed public offering of 2.5 million shares of common stock. At the company's recent closing price of $22.50, the offering represents roughly $56-$65 million of potential funding.
- Contactless Payment Solutions Continue To Gain Traction. American Express announced that its 13.56 MHz ExpressPay contactless payment solution will be accepted at 12,000 McDonald's USA restaurants. American Express ExpressPay partners now include: McDonald's, AMC Theatres, Boater's World, CVS/pharmacy, Duane Reade, Lowes Cineplex, Meijer Retail, Regal Entertainment, Ritz Camera, and Sheetz. McDonald's now has contactless payment relationships with MasterCard (PayPass), Mobile (SpeedPass), and American Express (ExpressPay).
Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)