RFID Trends and Applications in 2023

Posted by Advanced Mobile Group on Mar 10, 2023 8:00:00 AM


Any business that needs to keep track of something understands the challenges associated with this task. It’s costly, time-consuming, prone to error, and sometimes inefficient. Businesses have used barcode technology for many years, but RFID has many advantages as a tracking solution. Here is what you need to know about the latest RFID trends in 2023 and some of the ways this technology is being used.

What is RFID Technology?

Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, refers to a technology that uses radio frequency to capture data. The solution uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track objects, which carry either an active or passive tag. Active tags have their own power source to broadcast their unique identifier data, and passive tags get their energy from nearby RFID readers. 

Similar to barcodes, RFID tags are used for quick object identification. However, unlike barcodes, multiple tags can be scanned simultaneously with a direct line of sight to the label, saving time and money on tracking. 

Latest RFID Trends

RFID-scanDriven by lower prices of RFID tags and RFID printers and greater awareness of the benefits of this technology, the RFID market is likely to experience massive growth over the coming years. 

The underlying technology for RFID was believed to have been created during WWII. But Charles Walton of Walmart filed the first patent for RFID in 1983, and the retail giant began using the technology to trace inventory. In recent years, other retailers like Adidas, Tesco, Amazon, and H&M, reporting a fast return on their investment, a decrease in stock holding, and an increase in sales. 

According to MarketsandMarkets, the RFID market is expected to reach a value of $35.6 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 11.9%. The U.S. holds of dominant position in this market thanks to the presence of prime players like Intel Corporation, Apple Inc., Zebra Technologies Corporation, and Avery Dennison Corporation. 

Major and Unique Applications for RFID

The uses for RFID continue to expand in 2023. Here are some of the most common applications for RFID in business and daily life:

1. Real-time Inventory Control

230221-rethink-document-management-with-rfid-2One of the most common uses for RFID is inventory control. These intelligent labels are able to hold a lot of useful information about a product, such as the item number, product description, date manufactured, expiration date, humidity levels, etc. Businesses can use this data to get a real-time picture of their current inventory levels so they can prevent stockouts and overstock situations. 

When paired with a strong warehouse management system (WMS), RFID technology allows businesses to save time and money on inventory management, even giving them the ability to set up automatic re-ordering triggers for various products. 

2. Traceability in the Supply Chain

One of the most significant challenges revealed in modern supply chains is the lack of visibility. The movement of goods between partners is complex, and it’s become clear that there needs to be more coordination and visibility to optimize resources and time. RFID technology is one of the best solutions to this problem. 

When items (products, pallets, trucks, etc.) are tagged with RFID, those items can be uniquely followed with regard to departure, transit, and arrival at each touchpoint in the supply chain. This real-time data allows businesses to see where bottlenecks happen, and it creates more opportunities for efficiency. 

3. Frictionless In-store Checkout

Consumers don’t purchase everything online. In-store sales for many items, like groceries, remain robust. One thing that is so attractive about eCommerce, however, is its convenience. Shoppers don’t have to wait in line to deal with too many other people. RFID can make the retail shopping experience faster and less stressful with frictionless in-store checkout. 

Instead of asking consumers to scan every item by hand at a self-checkout or stand in line to have someone else do it for them, an RFID reader can automatically scan everything in a cart and provide a total at checkout. In some Amazon stores, customers simply get charged to their accounts as they walk out the door with products. 

4. Human Traceability and Access Control

RFID is becoming an increasingly common solution to trace and limit access. For example, placing a unique RFID tag inside a wristband, card, or other device can allow an employee exclusive access to certain areas of a building or resident access to parking facilities, lobbies, or other common areas. 

Some employers are also using RFID to trace the location of workers and as a means of keeping track of work hours. RFID implementation also reduces the potential for theft of items because access is restricted and the location of the items is always known. 

5. Quality and Authenticity Control

RFID-Solutions-for-the-Healthcare-Industry-1Every business should care about quality control. But some businesses, like pharmaceuticals and medical devices, are particularly concerned about these issues. At the same time, electronics and other industries may be worried about counterfeit goods reaching the market, impacting their profitability and brand reputation. 

RFID tags provide your company with a unique identifier for each product. This allows for better quality control. And businesses can use real-time traceability to combat counterfeit products. 

6. File and Archive Recordkeeping

At one time, businesses, libraries, and universities used barcodes and various antiquated systems for filing, recordkeeping, and archiving. RFID is a better solution and one that many are beginning to implement with greater frequency. The locations of files and books can be updated instantly with an RFID reader instead of having to scan each one by one. And RFID systems allow the instant location of an important document, which can be important when traceability is required to satisfy reporting or regulatory requirements. 

7. Other Applications

A few other unique applications for RFID include:

  • Sports timing
  • Tollgate reading
  • Traceability of animals
  • Aviation baggage control

There is little doubt that the RFID initiative started by Walmart over a decade ago has given this technology a new level of visibility. RFID is now being used by more industries and has a long list of interesting and useful applications. But its use can only be optimized when it is paired with the right technology solutions like mobile computing, RFID printing, and even voice technology. 

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Topics: RFID, Retail, Inventory Managment, Supply Chain

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