The tracking of assets and products has seen a significant progress. What's next on the horizon?
I agree that there has been a lot of progress in tracking assets and products, but I don't believe we've yet seen the first big thing when it comes to radio frequency identification.
Access control, automobile immobilizers and toll-collection systems have all been super-successful applications of RFID, but less than 5 percent of all hospitals globally track their assets using RFID-based real-time location systems. I would guess that the penetration in manufacturing is a bit lower than that, and retail even lower.
So in my mind, the first big thing will be tracking apparel, and the second will be monitoring hospital equipment. The next big thing after that could be Near Field Communication (NFC), which looks like it will catch on as the preferred mobile-payment method. If NFC technology is added to phones for making payments, there will be an explosion of other innovative uses. For instance, you might then be able read an NFC tag on a plaque within a museum, and download information (audio, video or text) about the object to which it is attached.
I'm sure our readers have views regarding what they think will be the next big thing in RFID. I would appreciate hearing what you think, so please post your comments below.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal