The RFID Journal 2016 trade show was once again a great event to participate in and learn about the RFID industry’s latest trends and innovation.

The RFID Journal 2016 event was held once again in Orlando, FL last week. As usual, a good amount of companies were displaying their solutions for the RFID industry in the exhibition ground while multiple track conferences were being held on topics such as RFID basics or applications in the real world.

Farsens has always had a very good impact in the RFID Journal shows. The fact that visitors come specifically for solutions based on RFID technology and including sensors in the ecuation while keeping products battery-free has worked really well in this trade show.

Farsens booth at RFID Journal 2016

Farsens booth at RFID Journal 2016

However, that’s not the only positive experience with these shows – and the RFID Journal 2016 proved it once again. This year there were a couple of trends that were really interesting for us.

Robotics entering the RFID solution arena

We really liked to actually see the trend of embedding RFID readers in robots during the fair. If you visited the show, you probably noticed robots moving around aisles and the drone at the Trimble booth.

The industry is starting to leverage the advantages of robotics to provide fully mobile RFID readers. Read range has always been a barrier to passive RFID implementation in new application. RFID equipped drones, robers or other kind of robots allow for RFID solutions to actually have the reader wherever it is needed without having to use human staff to manually check the tags.

You could find examples in the exhibition ground such as Trimble with the RFID equipped drone and Keonn, Metralabs or PAL Robotics with their robots for inventories.

On top of this, there was also a great presentation by Travis Deyle on ‘RFID-Enhanced Robots Reach Hard-to-Access Objects’. In case you are interested, the video below is a public link on youtube to a very similar – probably a little bit more technical – presentation he gave at the University of Washington.

Mobile phones and RFID readers getting close to each other

The other interesting trend we noticed during the RFID Journal 2016 show was the ongoing efforts of reader manufacturers to incorporate UHF RFID readers on mobile phones.

Companies such as U Grok It have been working on this for some time now but we noticed more and more companies are coming up with new products.

Using these companies’ extensions will allow your mobile phone to act as a UHF RFID reader. They work in iOS, Android or Windows and their output power levels are not that low anymore so they can be a handy solution for multiple applications.

As you can see, the most interesting trends for us have been around readers. We previously talked about how UHF RFID readers are most likely to change to adapt to the new landscape – RFID is not just for tracking&tracing anymore – and we are already noticing movements towards that adaptation. I’m sure this will continue over time to address the new needs of a market that’s waiting for added value on RFID products.