Two key emerging trends in the use of radio-frequency identification are in the elimination of checkout lines in the retail sector and the implementation of baggage tracking in the air transport sector. Details of these trends are below.
No More Checkout Lines
- It is expected that as radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags become cheaper that more retailers will use RFID technology to allow customers to skip the checkout line.
- As customers place more emphasis on their in-store experience, waiting in line to check out is becoming a pain point that can be alleviated with RFID technology.
- Since RFID tags do not have to pass by a reader one by one, a customer's cart can be scanned all at once, eliminating the need for them to stand in line.
- This trend is expected to save both customers and retailers time and expense, as the customer no longer has to wait in line to checkout and the retailer can employ fewer people to run the checkout process.
- Combining RFID checkout with automatic mobile payments is also expected to increase retail efficiency and accuracy.
- Eliminating checkout lines is considered an emerging trend because it is mentioned in several industry publications addressing the future of RFID.
- Amazon Go is one company that is currently exploring and testing the idea of using RFID for checkout purposes.
- The International Air Transport Association recently resolved to "support the global deployment of RFID tracking for airline baggage."
- This indicates that the use of RFID to track travelers' luggage when flying is an emerging trend.
- Airlines will need to replace barcode baggage tags with RFID tags, but once that does happen, there is expected to be a decrease in lost baggage claims.
- Research shows that RFID technology could save the air industry $3 billion.
- The roll out of RFID for baggage tracking is expected to begin on a global basis in 2020 and is projected to reach 80% in three years.
- The support of the International Air Transport Association for RFID use in tracking airline baggage is the main reason this is considered an emerging trend. As TagItSolutions stated, "the demand for RFID readers and tags will surely grow in the approaching years in this sector."
- Delta Airlines is the first airline to "show that RFID could be a cost-effective solution to the problem." In 2016, Delta Airlines "deployed 4,600 handheld RFID readers, installed 3,800 RFID bag tag printers and integrated 600 RFID readers at pier and claim areas, in order to enable hands-free scanning of baggage throughout the handling process."