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RFID revenues on upswing

Radio frequency identification tags could rake in up to $2.8 billion by 2009, according to a new study.

Global revenue from radio frequency identification tags is poised to grow from $300 million in 2004 to $2.8 billion in 2009, according to a study released Wednesday by market research agency In-Stat.

RFID technology will appear in many industries over the next few years, helping businesses improve process efficiencies, In-Stat said. RFID tags can transmit product information such as origin, time of purchase and expiration date. Ranging in price from about 15 cents to as high as $100, In-Stat said, the tags can help companies manage their supply chains and inventories while reducing thefts and saving labor costs.

"By far, the biggest RFID segment in coming years will be cartons and supply chain," In-Stat analyst Allen Nogee said in a statement. "This segment alone is forecasted to account for the largest number of tags and labels from 2005 through 2009."

Wal-Mart Stores, which has asked its suppliers to use the technology, will drive the RFID market, In-Stat said. The use of wireless tags also will grow for consumer products, the market researcher said. However, privacy issues remain a concern for many applications of RFID.