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Active RFID's Growing Role in Overall Market

Research firm IDTechEx of Cambridge has released an update to its annual report on the current and future state of the active RFID industry, with projections out to 2017. This article highlights the key findings.
Tags: Sensors
Jul 10, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

July 10, 2007—Research firm IDTechEx of Cambridge has released an update to its annual report on the current and future state of the active RFID industry, with projections out to 2017. Listed below are key findings from Active RFID and Sensor Networks 2007-2017:
  • As a percentage of the entire RFID industry, active RFID will grow over the next ten years. Specifically, it is expected to more than double from 12.7 percent of the market in 2007 to 26.3 percent in 2017.
  • IDTechEx pegs the active RFID market value in 2017 at $7.07 billion.
  • There are a number of factors driving the growth of the active RFID market, many similar to what is seen on the passive RFID side. Among them are an increase in track-and-trace generally (both assets and people), decreasing cost of the technology, standardization, integration with other wireless technologies, contactless payment adoption, and the ambitious Ubiquitous Sensor Networks (USN) projects seen in Asia.
  • IDTechEx estimates that 614 million active RFID tags were sold as of the beginning of this year. At 593 million, car clickers accounted for the vast majority. In a distant second place were military applications, which have used 6.3 million.
  • Active RFID is a systems business, according to IDTechEx. That is, providers make money less on the tags and more on deploying holistic solutions. Contrast that to some of the passive RFID supply chain and retail deployments, in which the anticipated high-volume consumption of tags will contribute significant, recurring cost.
  • While there has been much coverage of the adoption of RTLS solutions by the healthcare industry and hospitals in particular, there have not been many estimates of the actual number of deployments occurring. IDTechEx provides a figure: 50 hospitals per year are installing RTLS systems for asset, patient, and staff tracking.
  • Active RFID and RTLS has attracted more than its fair share of interest from investors: 37 percent of the 27 recent IDTechEx-tracked fundings went to companies that are in some way involved with active RFID. Notable, too, is that one of the biggest acquisitions to date in the RFID industry was Lockheed's $400 million purchase of Savi, a company that focuses heavily on active RFID technology (see Lockheed Martin to Buy Active RFID Leader Savi).

Read the full article from IDTechEx
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