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7 Trends Driving Adoption

Whether you're just considering RFID or expanding a current project, it's now easier, faster and more cost-effective to deploy the technology—and achieve powerful benefits.
By John Edwards
Apr 04, 2011—There's a lot to be said for hard work, struggle, perseverance and guiding a maddeningly complex and expensive project to its ultimate conclusion. But there's much more to be said for plunking down a purchase order or credit card, popping open a box and watching your new toy run. RFID isn't quite yet at the "popping open the box" stage, but there's no denying that RFID systems have become much easier to design and deploy over the past few years.

Illustration: iStockphoto/Chuwy
Although RFID's roots stretch all the way back to the 1940s, only over the past decade or so has the technology gained any serious business traction. While RFID is now used by enterprises worldwide for an almost endless number of tasks, many companies that could benefit from the technology have shied away from it, deterred by cost, complexity and/or operational concerns.

Yet, almost faster than an interrogator can read a tag, RFID's roadblocks are falling away. Lower costs, improved technologies, sturdier standards, specialized applications and a variety of other advancements are propelling RFID adoption in much the same way cheap and powerful desktop computers first brought businesses into the digital age.

"Price points are coming down, innovations continue and… there's a lot of application-centric development taking place in the market," says Michael J. Liard, RFID practice director at ABI Research, a technology research firm. "Many businesses have always wanted RFID—now they're getting to the point that they're more likely to act on their desire."
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