In a recently released report: RFID Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2009–2019
I found several thing interesting: (Context warning: this is related primarily to passive technologies.)
1. The total spend is only expected to grow 10% in 2009. Hardly a sign we are on the hockey stick of adoption.
2. Three of Five dollars spent is by Government.
3. Government’s top priorities are NOT ROI, but reduced errors, security, information value to management.
4. Case and Pallet tagging is still considered a failure, not surprising since it would need to replace bar code which is so effective.
5. Average tags prices are still $1.20. Where’s Moore’s Law?
6. HF sales are 5 times that of any other frequency. I find this surprising with all the focus on EPC Gen2.
7. The biggest and most successful vertically aligned companies only cover 2 verticals. This backs an assertion I have held for a long time- There are no globally applicable technologies yet. All need vertical specialization to be effective.
What are the lessons learned?
1. Focus on a problem not solvable by other technologies.
2. Know your end customer well, do not assume you understand their motivations.
3. Do not assume optimistic projections in sales of devices, or cost of using them.
4. KISS – Pick the technology that makes sense for your vertical, not the flavor of the day. Don’t count on commoditization to make your use case.