Will Tags Become Inexpensive Enough for Ordinary Consumer Goods?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsWill Tags Become Inexpensive Enough for Ordinary Consumer Goods?
RFID Journal Staff asked 11 years ago
Do you foresee a future in which RFID chips will be so cheap that they would be found on a can of Coke, or a bottle of beer?

—Dan, United Kingdom

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Dan,

That’s a difficult question to answer, because it is highly speculative. For RFID tags to reach a price at which they could be placed on or integrated with ordinary consumer products, such as a can of Coke or a bottle of beer, there would need to be a technological breakthrough of some sort. Tags prices would need to fall to about 1 cent apiece or less.

With microchips, that is impossible. Printed electronics do hold out the promise of extremely cheap tags, however, and companies such as Kovio and PolyIC have been making progress in that regard.

I think we will get there eventually, through high volumes and innovation. How long it will take, though, is difficult to say. My guess would be that RFID will continue to proliferate and be used to track higher-value goods, but it might take 10 or 15 years to get to 1-cent tags on beer bottles.

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal

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