RFID revenue to reach $1.2bn this year

Worldwide radio frequency identification (RFID) revenue will eclipse US$1.2bn (£600,000) this year, analyst firm Gartner is predicting. This will mark a significant 31% increase in the market over last year.

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Worldwide radio frequency identification (RFID) revenue will eclipse US$1.2bn (£600,000) this year, analyst firm Gartner is predicting. This will mark a significant 31% increase in the market over last year.

Global RFID revenue in 2007 hit $917.3 million (£465 million), and will hit $3.5 billion (£1.8 billion) by 2012, Gartner has forecast in a new report.

The outlook is optimistic because the market for RFID technologies has begun to move away from compliance-orientation towards innovation and revenue generation, according to Gartner analyst Chad Eschinger.

"Early adopters faced tight profit margins and pressed technology providers for lower hardware costs. Fortunately for the market, this trend has waned and innovation rather than cost is becoming a key driver for adoption," he said.

While forced adoption to comply with new regulations was a key early driver, Gartner says the RFID market is now being pushed ahead by interest in asset management projects, particularly in-store inventory management.

According to Gartner, the RFID market is heading into its second wave. Businesses are moving away from their initial pilot programmes into what Gartner is calling the "exploration phase".

"While the interest for RFID technologies is high, today's buyer is more discriminating than in the past and cautious of over-hyped technologies," said Eschinger. "They will be looking for greater functionality and return on investment."

Earlier this month, car manufacturer Ford announced it was diving head-long into RFID, embedding the technology in its pickup trucks and vans. It's being set up to tag and track tools, construction equipment and materials, so the vehicle's owner can use an in-dash computer interface to ensure everything they need is actually in the vehicle.

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