Lack of standards and high cost hinders RFID

Cost and the lack of agreed standards are emerging as the main barriers in the short-term to wider adoption of RFID.

Cost and the lack of agreed standards are emerging as the main barriers in the short-term to wider adoption of RFID.

In a study of more than 130 larger retailers across North America and Europe, conducted by analyst firm Gartner, 64% cited prohibitive costs of RFID tags as the biggest barrier, 50% said the unclear business case was preventing roll-outs, and 34% identified lack of standards as a barrier.

Some users have expressed deeper suspicions about RFID. An executive from high-street chemist Boots said, "One of the big disadvantages is that systems applications do not exist to exploit RFID. Most of what is around is just treating RFID as an electronic barcode. When I ask how much more they can do with RFID than with barcodes, the answer is not much."

Mark O'Bornick, senior analyst at research group Analytiqa, said users who were considering a wide-scale roll-out in 2005 faced the same challenges as last year.

"Read and accuracy rates are still not where they should be and equipment costs are a prohibitive barrier for manufacturers and logistics providers," he said.

Kara Romanow, research director at AMR Research, said, "We will not get the benefits of worldwide adoption without standards. We are moving forward with the promise of RFID generation two."

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