A panel of ID industry experts provided predictions for 2005. One of these glimpses into the future will appear here each day during December.
by David Dressen, Product Development Manager, Atmel Corporation
In 2005 the cost of 13.56 Mhz RF readers will continue to drop as semiconductor manufacturers bring more low cost reader chips into production. Simple RF readers will be available for as little as $25. ISO/IEC 14443 cards and ISO/IEC 15693 tags will appear in unexpected applications as a direct result of lower hardware costs.
Electronic passport projects worldwide will continue to move forward as ICAO completes definition of the application and interface software requirements. Pilot programs will demonstrate that the contactless smart card and reader technology necessary for this application is available and does work. Interoperability of e-passports issued by different countries will not be perfect due to varying interpretations of the ICAO requirements. There will not be large numbers of e-passports issued in 2005.
The use of biometrics in e-passports will be accepted by the general public in the U.S.A. because of the perception that border security is improved. In other countries biometric data will be protected by encryption.
The installation of the backend IT systems necessary to issue and authenticate e-passports will take longer than expected because these systems are complex and must interface with existing government systems. Passport fees will be raised to cover the cost of these systems and the increased cost of issuing e-passports.
EPC and RFID tagging
EPC technology will continue to be misunderstood. Many consumers believe that RFID is a threat to their privacy. The media and consumer groups will continue to spread misinformation generated by RFID technology opponents. These concerns will remain largely academic because very few consumer products will actually be tagged in 2005 or 2006. The industry will incorporate kill features in most products and attempt to educate customers about the real capabilities of RFID.
The lack of agreement between the EPC requirements and international RFID standards will become a significant issue for technology providers in 2005. These conflicting standards will prevent economies of scale from developing in the passive UHF tag and reader markets, keeping prices high. Intellectual property issues and Asian UHF spectrum restrictions will slow development of next generation EPC products. Despite these issues EPC will be implemented at the pallet level to satisfy the requirements of large retailers and the US government.
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