Internet of Things breathes new life into RFID technology

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About a decade or so ago, it was almost impossible to find a tech analyst who wasn't predicting that radio-frequency identification (RFID) would soon change the world. While RFID eventually became a useful tool in retail, logistics, healthcare and a handful of other enterprise sectors, the technology largely lurked in the shadows while other truly transformative concepts, such as social media and streaming entertainment, grabbed the spotlight.

Now, with RFID well into its second decade of adoption, the technology's proponents are busily prepping for a second act. Nina Turner, a research manager
 at IDC, notes that while RFID failed to live up to its lofty initial expectations, "its future is far from hopeless."

Like an aging actor who no longer finds himself in demand for leading man roles, RFID is now transitioning itself into a supporting player by becoming an essential part of the next next big thing—the Internet of Things (IoT).

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