Recently Seattle based RFID manufacturer Impinj came out with a successful IPO showcasing the business viability of RFID. Selling 4.8 million shares for $14 led Impinj to raise over $67 million. This was a historic moment for the industry since Impinj was the first RFID company to hold a successful and impressive IPO.
For years analysts have been predicting a sort of RFID boom, in which RFID will become the norm for many industries. A Visual Strategy report put the RFID market at $10 billion in 2020. Wider adoption will drive this increase in RFID technology use in addition to new industries adopting the tech, such as the pharmaceutical market for anti-counterfeit applications.
There are certain trends that are building that will help push RFID to mainstream adoption. These trends will make RFID technology more reliable and cost effective making adoption more of a no-brainer for many businesses.
1. Manufacturing Innovations
Innovation in printed electronics create a new level of thin and flexible RFID tags that combine well with solar cells, printed sensors, printed batteries and a variety of other technologies. With this innovation in printing companies could potentially 3D print their own chipless RFID tags on site.
2. Increased Memory Capacity
Designing a tag with more intelligence will enable an increase in smart applications. Tags with added memory capacity will be an ideal application for high value assets.
3. Improved Antenna Design
Antenna design is crucial to the performance of an RFID tag. The antenna determines how a tag is read and if the performance of the tag is ideal. As the RFID market heats up there will be more interest in innovating antenna design to find more optimal configurations.
4. Cloud based capabilities
The growth of the Internet of Things industry will rely heavily on applications to be able to communicate with each other. This will need more advanced cloud-based capabilities. The management of data flowing between thousands, sometimes millions of tags is crucial to increases in adoption rates.
5. Sensor Integration
This innovation is very much currently happening. There is now an RFID integration that allows RFID tags to detect smell which is being tested by the US government. RFID will increasingly posses capabilities that test for temperature, pressure, vibrations, moisture and other factors. The uses for the applications will be vast and unprecedented.
The RFID industry is in an exciting time and the Impinj IPO might just be the first sign of it's coming growth. The company's success will attract more attention to the industry, creating a potential domino effect for RFID innovation that will lead to applications that at this point in time we can't even imagine.