RFID And Bar Codes Can Coexist

With the RFID market predicted to hit the $3 billion mark by 2010, according to Gartner Inc., analysts say that RFID won't be the only game in town -- they can operate side-by-side with bar codes.

"Just because bar codes are used extensively in distribution centers does not mean RFID will be," said Jeff Woods, research vice president at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner. "For the most part, bar codes are better at collecting data in highly structured and engineered processes, such as warehouses and this will likely continue for the next five to seven years," he said. "However, RFID tags will be used for data collection of mobile assets and in largely chaotic or unstructured business processes, ranging from retail environments to hospitals, enabling these environments that lack sophisticated process engineering or controls to be systematically managed."

Companies will also devise new business applications if they decide to use RFID for a particular process rather than integrating RFID into existing applications, according to Woods.

In its report "Market Share and Forecast: Radio Frequency Identification, Worldwide, 2004-2010" released earlier this month, Gartner reports that it expects RFID spending to total $504 million in 2005, up 39% from 2004. By 2006, Gartner sees new license revenue totaling $751 million due to broader adoption of the technology. And by 2010 the market is expected to surpass $3 billion.

Gartner Inc.


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