One million transistors is not enough for the RFID
chip in the new e-passports
because, increasingly, they have to double as driver's licenses, multipurpose cards and other media. That is behind large new RFID orders such as the $84 million that has recently been committed to the Queensland driving license in Australia. The $885,000 contract recently landed by Destron Fearing for more salmon tracking readers in the rivers of Oregon adds to the $20 million of orders it recently landed for such readers. This illustrates the sheer variety of technologies and the rapid change in the subject.
. Many applications are gravitating to this frequency
or HF because they give better price and better performance. IDTechEx has recently published a report on "HF - The Great Leap Forward" detailing the huge advances in cost and performance from a number of breakthroughs in HF RFID technology and the new markets that this is generating. However, there is an equally great leap forward in UHF technology, one example being affordable tags that work on metal and also tolerate nearby metal and water.
About one percent of UHF
tags will be of the "on-metal" type and depending on price, it could be much more as system integrators seek to avoid the hassle of fitting one of two types depending on the surface encountered. On-metal UHF tags have usually consisted of bulky offset layers between tag and metal or thinner ones that are several dollars more expensive but use magnetic effects to do the job. Now Omni-ID
has bisected the cost gap with a capacitive concentrator layer that also gives a much smaller footprint due to advances in antenna
design. That could open up a market of one billion tags yearly for equipment in computer, telecoms data centers, aerospace, oil and the gas industry and so on.
Omni ID will be demonstrating this technology on its stand at the IDTechEx
Europe" conference in Cambridge UK September 30- October 1 2008. Confidex of Finland, with an on-metal UHF tag of its own, is speaking at the conference. It has been very successful in e-tickets as well. Cambridge Resonant
Technologies will give the latest on its remarkable breakthrough in performance of HF RFID.
The University of Cambridge
will explain "The Intelligent Airport" TINA project providing a self organising airport based on state of the art RFID
. Given the enormous interest in RFID in the air industry, there will be a presentation by Marshall Aerospace
and a visit to their facility at Cambridge Airport. AeroScout
of the USA will explain why it has a full orderbook for its Real Time Locating Systems RTLS
that leverage existing WiFi networks and new chip design. The new holistic approach to RFID will also be evident in the talk on the "virtual medical device library" by the Royal Alexandra Hospital
Another visit will be to local company Conductive Inkjet
Technology which has developed a new antenna
technology as has Kurz of Germany who will be presenting. Kurz also develops printed RFID
through its majority owned Poly IC
joint venture and it has other futuristic capabilities.
James Stafford, who orchestrated the world's largest RFID scheme for apparel while at Marks & Spencer, will describe the huge advances at Avery Dennison
of the USA, where he is now Head of RFID Adoption. Avery Dennison recently bought RFID labeller Paxar
. Indeed RFID in apparel will be a major theme this year as stitched RFID labels start to catch on, following the widespread adoption of swing tags in the fashion industry and button tags in rented garments and laundry. Global market leader Datamars
of Switzerland will be presenting at the conference and St Olaf's Hospital of Norway will be reporting its success in creating an RFID enabled laundry.
GCS Consulting of Germany will give the latest on the "RFID
Fashion Group" consortium it manages that is progressing RFID even into anti-counterfeiting with new types of tag
stitched into apparel. Participants will include the top fashion brands such as H&M, Gardeur, Bultel, Otto Versand and Gerry Weber
plus leading retailers such as Karstadt and Kaufhof. Indeed, there are over 60 leading apparel retailers, renters and manufacturers in 18 countries involved in apparel RFID today, with over 50 RFID suppliers in support. IDTechEx has nearly completed research on all of these. It will be analysed in its new report "RFID in Apparel 2008-2018" that will be ready for the conference. Dr Peter Harrop of IDTechEx will share the results of this work in his introduction to the "RFID in Apparel and More" stream. The University of Manchester
will describe how it can now incorporate RFID into fibres. Many of these advances will result in substantial orders in the not too distant future.