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The RFID Industry Recovers

After a dramatic setback due to the financial crisis in 2008, the technology is showing signs of growth once again.
By Mark Roberti
Jun 01, 2011—Back in May 2008, RFID Journal published an article titled "Moving Forward—At Last." It suggested the market for radio frequency identification technology was finally starting to accelerate. One proof point was our annual conference and exhibition, RFID Journal LIVE!, which attracted 3,300 people, including many end users who were eager to explore the technology's potential to solve business problems or deliver business benefits.

But when the financial crisis hit in September of that year, many companies put investments in new technology on hold. RFID projects were either canceled or postponed, which caused RFID vendors to struggle. Some, such as Trenstar, went out of business. Others, such as Multispectral Solutions, Navis, OATSystems, Reva Systems, ThingMagic, XIO Strategies and Wirama, were bought up. And large, mainstream technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Manhattan Associates, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, essentially stopped marketing in the RFID sector.

Now, the industry is beginning to recover. An analysis of the attendance figures and survey results from RFID Journal LIVE! for the years 2008 to 2011 shows how interest in deploying RFID is growing.

After the 2009 drop in attendance that resulted from the financial crisis, attendance ticked upward in 2010, though end users still exercised a great deal of caution. In 2011, the number of exhibitors declined, due to consolidation among RFID companies, but the number of attendees overall grew, indicating stronger interest in the technology among end-user companies.
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