RFID has the power to transform businesses. It brings greater visibility in retail, manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and so on. Assets can be tracked and condition monitored round the clock, at closer proximity, and located with high accuracy. Businesses across sectors are looking for information on the locations and condition of their assets to increase profitability. Apart from the regular use cases, applications such as advertising in retail, studying customer behavior, health monitoring of livestock, analyzing the techniques and activities of athletes or sportspersons, remote patient monitoring, and hand hygiene are some of the key emerging areas that are increasingly using RFID. The technology available today is far more advanced and flexible, making it better suitable for the customer and business needs. A lot more protocols and a combination of multiple protocols are being used today apart from just active and passive RFID for real-time monitoring. For RTLS solutions, Ultra Wide Band, and Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE) are increasingly becoming popular for indoor location applications.
Latest middleware and software suites are advanced enough to allow seamless integration between the ERP and RFID. The RFID software available now can support multiple technologies together and make them function smoothly with high accuracy. The advanced software platforms available can be hosted on servers, and on clouds. These software are capable of supporting smart phones and tablets making those easier for the end users. The SDKs made available by the software companies can be easily integrated by the end users into their systems.
Growth of cloud computing is changing the software business models and has helped with a lot of emerging and new applications with smart phones and tablets, which were not possible earlier. Due to the increasing use of smartphones, and tablets, and other mobile devices, it is possible to develop solutions that work on Bluetooth, GPS, or geomagnetic technology. Due to growth of cloud computing and increased use of smart phones, information is now available anytime and anywhere for users. This has led to the growth of SaaS model for software. Such model has been extremely beneficial for all types of businesses today, more so for small and medium enterprises. As the software can be hosted on cloud, end users can use on any Web enabled devices at some monthly cost which is far lesser than the software licensing fee. As the use of smartphones and tablets is increasing rapidly worldwide, end users can now have access to critical information always which allows them to make critical business decisions on-time. This results in saving losses and increasing profitability. The SaaS business model brings down the cost of acquisition of RFID making it easier for SMEs to deploy RFID or with pilots for new user and first time users who may not want to make a big investment initially. This also enhances the user experience by making information available always that can be accessed from anywhere. This provides all businesses with the much needed mobility as well as visibility.
As the M2M connectivity is becoming highly popular and IoT of things are likely to result into billions of connected devices globally by 2020, the cloud and software would play a critical role in the growth and performance of RFID globally. Technological advancements, growth in SaaS business model, increased use of cloud, and dependency on smartphones, tablets, and similar mobile devices will result into an omnipresent network of RFID tags, labels, chips, and sensors that will make the businesses smarter with round-the-clock availability of information, thus totally transforming the business dynamics.