UHF Passive RFID has witnessed consistent growth in the last few years. The technology has come a long way and the current EPCglobal UHF Gen2 RFID is more advanced, robust, and reliable than ever before. Technology advancements have made the technology better, and the EPC Gen 2 tags can provide high-quality service even in the harshest of environments. Unlike the past, the EPC Gen 2 tags are now able to support sensors, thus providing better value addition.
In the last few years, the demand for EPC Gen2 technology has grown manifold. The biggest drive came from the retail industry that has deployed very high volumes of UHF RFID tags for item-level tagging. Deployments in other industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and logistics, agriculture, education, and hospitality have also boosted growth of UHF RFID. The price of the technology has reduced substantially over the years, which has helped in faster adoption. One of the biggest reasons for the increased popularity and demand for the technology is the global standardization of the UHF passive RFID.
International organizations like EPCglobal (a GS1 venture), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Standards Organization (ISO), and the Joint Technical Committee (JTC 1), a committee formed by ISO and IEC are the bodies behind bringing the standards in passive UHF RFID. Global standardization has made the technology interoperable; as a result, end users are no longer dependent on a particular vendor or manufacturer. Standardization also allows implementation expansion at any point of time and at any of the business processes using a vendor of choice. This standardization has increased the competition, thereby controlling the price points. With the rise in business cases and global awareness of the technology, global deployments have increased.
In the last couple of years, widespread adoption of UHF Passive RFID has been successful due to the efforts of RAIN RFID, which is spreading the awareness and adoption of technology among end users and prospective customers globally. Google, Impinj, Intel and SMARTRAC, along with the leading AIDC industry association AIM Global, formed the RAIN Alliance. RAIN stands for RAdio frequency IdentificatioN. RAIN Alliance is also pushing for UHF RFID and Cloud infrastructure to spread the RFID network over internet of things (IoT). By 2020, there are likely to be more than 5 billion Internet users and 80 billion connected devices worldwide. RAIN Alliance has a vision to connect billions of devices and items to RFID by 2020. This is driving the adoption of the technology faster.
The industry is further working toward improving upon the existing UHF Gen2 standard to allow future RFID communications to have more powerful and complex security features. This will provide better data protection and prevent tag counterfeiting. This should address the security and privacy concerns of millions of end users globally, thus driving adoption.