Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Future of RFID Technology: A revolution is being predicted in so-called RFID "smart tags". RFID spending is set to explode in the next few years, growing from $1 billion this year to $4.6 billion in 2007, estimates Wall Street research firm Robert W. Baird & Co. Almost all of this will be in backroom warehouses and distribution centers -- not on grocery shelves or mall store racks. Consultants and analysts have been spinning tales about the virtues of RFID, such as digitally encoding receipts for paperless returns and warranty claims. But most of these sophisticated uses require tagging on the item level. That's happening in a few pilot tests of high-price or high-margin goods. But among North American manufacturers that expect to start using RFID in 2005, only 3% will do so at this level, according to Accenture (ACN).

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