RFID poised for the big time in 2008

RFID poised for the big time in 2008

Greater integration between mobile devices and consumer electronics

Next year will witness the spread of RFID applications into familiar, everyday settings, while consumer electronics, wireless technologies and security requirements will continue to benefit from the integration of RFID.

These are just some of the predictions from AIM Global, the worldwide industry trade association and self-proclaimed authority on automatic identification and mobility solutions.

Practical RFID applications will find their way into familiar settings, including sporting events, the latest toys and food safety, according to the trade association.

Next year's Beijing Olympics will see RFID applications being used to track marathon runners to ensure race time accuracy, watched by sports fans holding tickets authenticated by the same technology.

This year's highly publicised recalls of contaminated foods and unsafe toys will push firms to use RFID to immediately track the origins of compromised items, halting the production of potentially harmful goods.

2008 will also witness the increasing integration of RFID into mobile devices and consumer electronics, providing consumers and business users with new and more convenient services.

This technological marriage will result in multi-functional mobile devices that allow users to manage voice calls, email, text messages, multimedia, location-based information, personal finance accounts and many other aspects of everyday lives.

According to AIM Global, the convergence of RFID and other wireless technologies is now inevitable.

As such the coming together of RFID, real-time locating systems technology, GPS, sensor and other wireless technologies will spur a "disappearance" of these acronyms as businesses and individuals become more accustomed to the benefits.

2008 will also see RFID addressing security vulnerabilities in the global supply chain. From transportation worker ID cards and border cards, to RFID-based electronic seals on cargo containers, RFID will increasingly be deployed in a bid to improve security without hampering international trade.

Elsewhere in the supply chain, RFID will bring improvements to retail environments, allowing retailers to benefit from the cross-selling of related items and the ability to guarantee availability.

"These predictions showcase the priorities, segments and applications which enterprises can potentially leverage in the coming year to benefit their businesses," said Dan Mullen, president of AIM Global.

"This forecast also provides strong anecdotal evidence regarding the ongoing evolution of the RFID industry, and how these changing dynamics are accelerating the development of beneficial consumer-oriented applications in many different environments."