The three primary technologies creating growth within the Real-time Location Systems (RTLS) arena will be mobile/cellular technologies such as NFC and LTE Direct, disposable RFID sensor systems, including ones in the form of Smart Active Labels (SAL), and sophisticated multi-functional devices. These will serve the burgeoning market demand for tracking, locating and monitoring people and things, driven by security, safety, cost and other factors. Active RFID will create competitive advantage in consumer goods, combat the new terrorism, other crime and threatened epidemics of disease and serve consumers and governments demanding better service, more information, food traceability and condition monitoring. The safety of constructions and risk of natural disasters will be monitored by Ubiquitous Sensor Networks (USN), usually as a form of active RFID, and they will assist and monitor the increasing numbers of elderly and disabled.
Research firm IDTechEx of Cambridge has released a report on the real-time location systems (RTLS) market and its growth prospects over the next decade. This article lists the key findings from , which predicts the RTLS market will grow to $2.71 billion by 2016.
These needs have been building for some time, but two new facilitators combine to make active RFID a much more practicable solution. The major domains that will be a major factor are, reduction in cost and size of active tags and systems. With lower power circuits, even printed batteries are gaining a place. In future, miniature fuel cells, printed photo-voltaics ( including the new power storage photo-capacitors), better batteries and printed transistor circuits will also be used. This will overcome constraints of tag lifetime, cost, performance and size.
Secondly the availability of open standards – notably the new ISO 18000 EPC Types 3 and 4 and IEEE 802.15.4. There is now considerable activity leveraging many newly popular forms of short range wireless communication, particularly WiFi , ZigBee and near Field Communication as in the popular new RFID enabled mobile phones.
The major areas that will have almost 3 times the growth compared to the previous years, predictions include the 2016 RTLS market will breakdown as follows: $406.5 million (15%) on hardware, $677.5 (25%) million on tags, $813 million (30%) on software, and $813 million (30%) on services.
Furthermore the manufacturing, military, healthcare, and postal/courier verticals will be the heaviest users of RTLS in the coming years.
For more information, see: