Radio frequency identification (RFID) applications are taking on greater importance, and companies should start looking at business cases for the technology now, according to new research.
Stimulated by demand for supply chain visibility, the global RFID market looks set to grow to more than $3.1bn by 2008.
According to research firm ABI, the US Department of Defense is one of many organisations which has dramatically bumped up RFID spending in the past year.
This investment in tracking technologies was largely driven by military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But enterprises can make a business case for using the technology, now that standards are finally materialising.
ABI predicts that asset and supply chain management application revenue will grow from 20 per cent to 48 per cent of this projected market.
At first, asset control, asset tracking, and container and pallet-level supply chain management will fuel the RFID market.
"But as indicated by the proliferating interest among the world's largest retailers, item-level tracking in the supply chain is no more than three to four years from widespread implementation," said Erik Michielsen, senior consulting analyst at ABI.
Other developing markets include tyre tracking and alternative point of sale purchase methods.
"The time to build business cases, deploy trials and firmly grasp the intricacies of the RFID marketplace is now," said Edward Rerisi, ABI's director of research.
"With over three billion tag shipments expected by 2008, and with retailers and manufacturers already seeing positive returns on RFID investment, RFID will only gain more and more acceptance."
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