Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Five Predictions for '07

2007 will be another fascinating year of RFID growth and innovation.
By Kevin Ashton
Feb 01, 2007—When making predictions, it is edifying to look back before you look forward. Last year I predicted that the RFID market would grow but not boom; EPC Generation 2 would clean up in UHF; some companies using RFID because of mandates would find business cases; China, Japan and Korea would take steps toward EPC; and big technology companies would enter the market at the expense of some little ones.

These were broadly correct, but not perfect. I got Japan wrong—it is lagging due to local regulations that show no sign of changing. And most mandated adopters still slap on tags and ship their products with no plan to get value for their companies. However conservative I try to be, some things just take longer. With that lesson in mind, what might 2007 hold?

1. Big performance improvements.
Standards ensure competition, and competition powers innovation. At least five companies are now producing silicon chips for Gen 2 tags: Alien Technology, Impinj, NXP, ST Micro and Texas Instruments. Competition among these companies is delivering dramatic improvements. Alien's new integrated circuit, called Higgs, is the highest-performing tag silicon I've seen—so far. Competition will result in continuing improvements in all parts of the RFID system, from tags to readers and software.

2. Readers on a chip.
The climax of any electronics revolution is integration—when a circuit board containing thousands of soldered electronic doodads is reduced to a square of silicon smaller than a postage stamp. Chip-based systems are cheaper, faster and need less power than their circuit-board ancestors. Integration created breakthroughs in computing, networking, cell phones and RFID tags. In 2007, we'll see the move to high-performance UHF readers on chips. It will take a few years, they may not work as well as conventional readers and prices won't drop overnight.

3. The year of the closed loop. It is easy to assume that open standards are for open systems—applications that require the exchange of data between companies that use different information technology. But EPC technology has also been adopted, albeit quietly, for applications working solely within a single company, such as document management and office tracking. These closed-loop applications will become more prominent over the next 12 months, as companies realize they can benefit from the innovation and price reduction standards deliver.

4. Security.
It's an inconvenient truth that low-cost RFID systems are not as secure as they need to be for ubiquitous use in public environments. Today, any reader can read any tag, and any tag can be read by any reader. For real security in public places, it's essential to make sure tags can be read only by authorized, authentic readers. RFID vendors and standards groups should begin to address this need in 2007.

5. Item-level tagging rumors.
RFID will be applied to lots of consumable items. While that's unlikely to happen on any widespread basis in 2007, plans and ideas will lead to a swirl of rumors and speculation from analysts, vendors and users that item-level tagging really is on the way.

Kevin Ashton was cofounder and executive director of the Auto-ID Center. Illustration By James Steinberg.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 518 words and 1 page. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations