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Baggage tracking set to drive RFID
Baggage tracking set to drive RFID
Some 1.7 billion tags expected to be sold in 2007
Dave Friedlos, Computing 06 Feb 2007
Adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags did not meet projections last year, but baggage tracking, fashion and smartcards will to drive growth this year.
RFID analyst IDTechEx says sale of one billion tags in 2006 was below forecasts but more than 1.7 billion tags are expected to be sold worldwide in 2007.
Report author Raghu Das says baggage tracking in airports is emerging as an RFID success story after initially being hampered by technical problems.
Das says one US airport has succeeded in overcoming poor read rates by using focused beams and believes this should lead to a higher proportion of the two billion bags that pass through airports being tagged.
International Air Transport Association (Iata) spokesman Lorne Riley says adoption of RFID is one of the goals of its Simplifying the Business programme to cut costs.
‘We initially looked at RFID for baggage tracking but have expanded that to include asset tracking and speeding the turnaround of aircraft at airports,’ he said.
‘We are in the process of building a business case for RFID, which could make or break the initiative. The challenge so far has been the cost of tags, but there will be a tipping point driven by increased volume.’
UK airlines have been slow to adopt RFID compared to the US and European airlines such as Air France and KLM, but Iata expects imminent growth in the UK.
Das says other success stories included item level tagging of clothing, such as that at Marks & Spencer, which is planning to increase the number of shops using RFID.
‘We see this sector as being one of the fastest growth areas of RFID in retail as the business case is sound and is a closed systems,’ Das said.
RFID cards, such as the Oyster travel card and credit cards offering contactless payments are another successful application.
However, Das says case and pallet tagging in warehouse environments disappointed last year because of technical problems, such as those experienced by Tesco where read rates were limited by water and metal, while the expected boom in tagging of drugs also failed to eventuate.
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