Symbol Buyout Could Hasten RFID Adoption

Buyout is expected to result in expanded uses for RFID.

Motorola Inc.'s agreement to purchase RFID and wireless communications company Symbol Technologies Inc. could pump life into the struggling RFID market. High tag prices have slowed RFID adoption by most manufacturers, but Motorola's $3.9 billion acquisition of the Holtsville, N.Y.-based company is expected to result in expanded uses for RFID.

The plan is to develop an integrated platform of RFID technology and cellular networks, according to Eric Austvold, an analyst for Boston-based AMR Research Inc. This would enable companies to track assets externally, Austvold notes.

Another possibility is embedding RFID readers and scanners into handsets so consumers can scan product codes from advertisements and then connect to the Internet where they can get more purchasing information.

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