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RFID Deals Send Mixed Messages

Fans and critics of radio frequency identification technology are receiving mixed messages on the health of the RFID industry.

ABI Research on Thursday reduced its 2007 market forecast for radio frequency identification software and services revenue to $3.1 billion, down 15 percent from earlier estimates.

Market consolidation, collaborative solutions, growing availability of off-the-shelf commercial RFID software packages, and improving level of skills in RFID project planning are to blame for the decline, says RFID practice director Michael Liard.

One signal comes from RFID chip and reader maker Alien Technology Corp. The Morgan Hill, Calif.-based company on Aug. 4 withdrew plans to file for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Alien had been expected to begin trading July 28, offering 9 million shares at between $10 and $12 per share in a bid to raise $99 million.

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