Active RFIDs Are On The Rise

A (RFID) is responsible for an increasing percentage of the money spent in the RFID market. It will rise from 10 percent of the total RFID market this year to 24 percent in 2019, which translates into a $6.74-billion market. The term Active RFID incorporates many technologies including Real Time Locating Systems (RTLSs) and wireless (or ubiquitous) sensor networks. At the heart of such systems are ZigBee, RuBee, Ultra Wide Band (UWB), WiFi, and other wireless technologies.

In the first generation of active RFID, several tags have communicated with readers. This year, that market will total $439 million with over $2 billion spent cumulatively on car clickers. In addition, a recent order for nonstop road tolling totaled $500 million. The second-generation of active RFID comprises real-time locating systems (RTLSs). This year, that market will total $153 million and is showing rapid growth. Here, most of the value is in the system--with tags taking up no more than 20 to 30 percent of the total cost. At a few million dollars each, the majority of the orders are small. Yet this market is poised for tremendous growth. Technologies like UWB have enabled high location accuracy. Now, others even offer location using passive tags, such as the device from Mojix.

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are currently emerging as well. Such networks automatically monitor forest fires, countrywide utility equipment, aircraft, hospitals, and much more over wide areas, which was previously impossible. The new WSNs employ "mesh networking" of tags to provide such massive scalability. For more information on "Wireless Sensor Networks and RTLS: The Growth Areas," please contact Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, at [email protected].

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