Boom in RFID will be reflected in conference

Tuesday, 07 August, 2007

As the $5 billion RFID market moves strongly to over $25 billion in ten years, advances are on a broad front. This year, the IDTechEx RFID Europe conference in Cambridge, UK, 18–19 September is growing and widening its scope to reflect this booming industry.

RFID is an enabling technology that provides safety, security, cost reduction, increased sales, reduced crime and much more. Dr Peter Harrop looks at some recent examples:

In item and conveyance tagging, Unisys has landed an extension order from the US Department of Defense worth $28 million yearly and up to $112 million if three further planned extensions are granted. The project uses active RFID technology to track 125,000 shipments every week — ammunition, rations, medical supplies, vehicles and vehicle parts.

RFID cards are seeing even bigger commitments than these massive logistics orders for RFID labels and plastic mouldings and their systems. China is spending $2 billion on RFID this year, mainly the 900-million person national ID card and the city payment card schemes for up to 14 million people at a time.

By contrast, a $66 million order for a non-military US Government access card system has recently gone to EDS. And just one extension of the Washington WMATA transport card scheme has recently put $11.58 million in the hands of Cubic Transportation Systems.

Little wonder that there is a rush of acquisitions and investments in the RFID industry, because few other electronics sectors see this level of commitment. To reflect this, the optional Investment Forum at the IDTechEx RFID Europe conference will be addressed by no fewer than 15 CEOs and by others in companies seeking growth funds.

Those attending the optional masterclasses will visit local company Ubisense which has the most accurate RTLS and is growing particularly rapidly.

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