RFID Sensors: Passive sensors are taking off, researchers say

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RFID Sensors: Passive sensors are taking off, researchers say

IDTechEx, a research company based in Boston,  says that passive RFID sensors have overtaken battery-assisted sensors in 2017. In passive RFID temperature and humidity sensors, the development has been especially dramatic, based on the low cost of the sensors for niche markets. According to its latest study, IDTechEx estimates that there will be approximately 5.2 million passive RFID sensors sold this year, dwarfing the number of BAP RFID tags, of which only 330,000 units are expected to be sold.

Overall, the company predicts that sales of passive and active RFID sensors will amount to $400 million, or $904 million for entire solutions, during the next ten years. Growth rates are expected to top 12 percent annually.

We have noticed an increase in providers of RFID sensors, as UHF and Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled readers have become more accessible and lower in cost

Raghu Das CEO IDTechEx: Smart RFID Sensors

 says Raghu Das, IDTechEx’s CEO.

Battery-powered RFID tags have been around for about 15 years, but have found limited use cases. “They never sold particularly well because of the price,” he maintains.

Passive sensors from companies such as RFMicron have offered a solution that has limits. Without an onboard battery, a sensor tag cannot store the sensor’s history—it can merely respond with the real-time data once it is interrogated. But for some applications, that data is all that is needed.

For instance, Das says, the tags are being used for detecting water leakage in new vehicles as they are tested at the manufacturing site. Because the tags are low-cost, they can remain in the vehicle, and thus do not require the additional labor of being removed and recommissioned for another vehicle or some other product. They can also be used to detect leaks in such products as electronics.

Author: Tim Cole

Image Credit: IDTechEx

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