When techies converge in January for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it's partially Symbol Technologies Inc.'s radio frequency identification (RFID) platform the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport will use to track luggage.
The application is one in many Symbol, the RFID reader and tag inlay manufacturer, has developed, but the plan in 2006 is to make a stronger push into other markets worldwide with a variety of RFID platforms to gain traction on rivals such as Intermec Technologies Corp. For example, the plan is to add forklifts and other mobile applications to its existing handheld devices and reader devices companies typically mount on shipping and receiving dock doors at distribution centers.
Although the majority of its sales are in the United States, Symbol will begin to build more products for companies in Europe and in Asia-Pacific. The strategy, in part, is to plunge into overseas markets offering new applications with help from up to 7,000 development and channel partners.
Symbol will deliver European compliant products early in 2006. Next year, the company also " will develop better software and interfaces, particularly for the XR400 RFID fixed and handheld readers, so partners can develop applications directly onto those devices," said Phil Lazo, vice president and general manager of RFID infrastructure at Symbol Technologies.
Lazo said the U.S. is the "dominant market" for Symbol today, followed by Asia and Europe, but that mix "will change next year" as the company gets new products into those markets. "We have built the capacity to deliver between 200 million and 400 million RFID inlays to the marketplace," he said.
Research firm Gartner Inc. expects new license revenue will reach $751 million in 2006, as more industries worldwide adopt RFID technology.