RFID, WIRELESS, BAR CODE & VOICE
Steady Growth, at Lower Cost, Seen
for These Technologies
2009 was a rocky year for some aspects of this market, but stellar for others. Retail continues
to roll out voice and other technologies to ensure customer service and efficiencies, but RFID
has slowed, for now. Defense logistics still is on the move with requirements and deployment
of both active and passive RFID. Expect more purchases of these technologies in 2010, with a
broader application of these technologies in diverse markets.
—Ann Grackin, chief executive officer, ChainLink Research
FID, wireless, bar code and voice are distinct
technologies and applications which can converge in a variety of sectors such as
logistics/warehouse, retail and maritime. Each technology area
• Life sciences continue to probe at RFID and wireless applications from everything from medical dispensing, patient care,
accounting applications to asset tracking.
• New research on RF frequencies for the auto and trans-has seen expansion of the application in more industries and portation sector has demonstrated “smart cars” and smart high-applications—from logistics to game technology. 2010 will ways are possible in the U.S. market, but these changes will
expand in applications of these technologies, but the total happen slowly.
growth will be slow.
• Risk-mitigation applications still hold promise from anti-
Some applications and technologies to note in 2010:
counterfeiting to food and product safety, but these areas have
• Defense Logistics—DoD and NATO continue to leverage not grown as expected.
active RFID in their global operations. And within the supply
• Other RF applications in the warehouse will continue to be
base of the DoD, the compliance/contracting requirements for the pillar and major sector for some time to come.
passive RFID on inbound shipments is stable.
• Commercial warehouse applications are more focused on
voice and other directed picking technologies to improve pro- In 2010, we see slow growth of around 2 percent, but with a broad-ductivity; and in combination with RF/bar-coding, this creates ening of application areas. We also see some changing dynamics in
a very strong inventory management capability.
these markets with prices continuing to drop for these technolo-
• Asset tracking is a bright spot in the RFID market espe- gies. RF—bar-coding readers, etc—should have a good year since
cially used within the enterprise to track and account for high- equipment needs to be refreshed. And RFID’s battery-assisted tags