In item and conveyance tagging, Unisys has recently landed an extension order from the US Department of Defense
worth $28 million yearly and up to $112 million if three further planned extensions are granted. Not to be confused with the DoD's highly publicized new passive RFID
mandate initiative involving billions of tags, or the $425 million Lockheed Martin
military order for active RFID, the Unisys project uses active RFID technology to track 125,000 shipments every week - ammunition, rations, medical supplies, vehicles and vehicle parts.
RFID cards are seeing even bigger commitments than these massive logistics orders for RFID labels and plastic moldings and their systems. China is spending $2 billion on RFID this year, mainly the 900 million person national ID card and the city payment card schemes for up to 14 million people at a time. By contrast, a $66 million order for a non-military US Government
access card system has recently gone to EDS. And just one extension of the Washington WMATA transport card scheme has recently put $11.58 million in the hands of Cubic Transportation Systems
Little wonder that there is a rush of acquisitions and investments in the RFID industry, because few other electronics sectors see this level of commitment. To reflect this, the optional Investment Forum at the IDTechEx RFID Europe conference will be addressed by no fewer than 15 CEOs and by others in companies seeking growth funds. For example, several are involved in "the next big thing" of RFID as Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS
) where over 100 hospitals have installed this for assets and staff in the last year. Those attending the optional masterclasses will visit local company Ubisense
which has the most accurate RTLS and is growing particularly rapidly.