Many assumptions about the market numbers on RFID have been predicated on limited visions and views of RFID, as well as traditional views of spend numbers in the technology market.
Here (at ChainLink Research) we tend to look at the world differently. Most marketers might believe in their product, hoping that metallic skirts will provide unprecedented market sizzle. But it is not predictable. The next big thing so often is not well planned.
ChainLink’s models tend to look at more factors in market dynamics, and therefore have:
- Predicted the next big things that will occur (so far, so good….)
- Been able to predict what will ‘stick’, as well as what factors and forces have to be aligned for a new technology to take off.
So with that in mind, we are revising upward our RFID market numbers for the next few years.
A few factors have lead to this:
- Many obstacles to RFID rollouts have been eliminated in the last two years. Read rates are better, hardware is working, and knowledge is building (though I would say much learning needs to be done).
- Our current research with manufacturing firms shows that they will be spending more money over the next few years.(see figure 1)
- An amendment of our previous point of view on the unlikelihood of tag price reductions. New innovations in tag assembly look promising to actually reduce the tag price to within an approachable price for many applications.
- The increasing interest in high value implementations that in the past did work, and provided ROI such as closed loop, asset tracking ,etc.
- The ongoing interest of the US Government in all things auto id.
- Discussion with many end-users, and rock solid firms who are in projects of substance and value.
RFID SPEND PLANS
But most of all RFID market numbers have been based on one fundamental assumption: that RFID is a business, not a consumer application.
Business applications are measured in the numbers of business targets such as Fortune 1000 etc. But consumer markets are different; this is about households across the world, and how many of, say, cell phones, TVs or shoes per household. A huge number!
If you look at RFID in this light, the impact is astounding. And that is what ultimately our research analysis has come to.
RFID will ultimately be at the heart of many consumer products and applications. RFID will rock, at home and many other places.
In the last two years, our team of researchers had (because of RFID) branched out into other elements of several key value chains, or ecosystems, that took us not only beyond our traditional supply chain roots, but into the last miles and last inches of these ecosystems. We’ve now branched out into areas such as:
- healthcare, moving beyond the distribution chain to the clinician and the home
- retail, from logistics to the customer experience
- asset tracking
- great outdoors applicators in mining, lumber
As we begin to expose our readers to these eco system views, it also becomes apparent that the investments in RFID, the instrumenting of the ecosystem, are a shared investment with shared returns. We looked at some interesting long term rollouts, as well as how the technology has promisingly evolved in the last few years (as well as some soon to be announced improvements in the technology); and we understood.
Catalysts Continue and Add:
- Eco system leader mandates (gov’t and big customers)
- Acceptance – this includes working technology, price and scale, and education
- The need for quality and authentication assurances
- Games, toys and entertainment
- Device inventiveness
- And more………
Two major scenarios will emerge (but there are more…get the research and you will be amazed!!)
Home is where the Heart and tag is….
After talking to people in many walks of life, our analysis of various sectors has concluded that the digital home will be accepting of a variety of applications. As we walk through the decade, these and more yet to be discovered applications will emerge. Stay tuned.