IDTechEx (Cambridge, MA, USA), an M2M-sector analyst firm, has released their "Printed and Chipless RFID Forecasts, Technologies & Players 2011-2021" report, which predicts a spike in this market to $3.93 billion by 2019.
According to a Research and Markets release, the biggest opportunity for RFID is the item level tagging of all things. This ultimately calls for a very low cost tag, something that printed and chipless RFID technologies have already demonstrated or have the potential to achieve. However, few of the biggest chip RFID suppliers are working on these technologies. Instead, printers, packagers and electronics companies are leading development, some seeing the ultra low cost RFID tag as just the beginning - with integrated ultra low cost components such as displays, sensors and power to come.
The primary potential benefit of the most promising chipless tags is that eventually they could be printed directly on products and packaging for one tenth of a cent and replace ten trillion barcodes yearly with something far more versatile and reliable.
The next ten years will see a rapid gain in market share of mainstream printed and chipless RFID tags. The numbers sold globally will rise from 40 million in 2009 to 624 billion in 2019. By value, printed and chipless versions will rise from less than $5 million in 2009 to $3.93 billion in 2019, one third of all income from RFID tags in 2019 because most of the increase in penetration will be by price advantage. In 2019, the average price of an item level tag will be 1 cent but chipless versions will be less - particularly so when printed directly onto packaging. However, only a small proportion will be directly printed onto packaging by 2019. Chip versions will be about 4 cents for highest volumes in 2019 and chipless versions about 0.4 cents.
For the full report, click here.