NFC tags represent an “enormous growth opportunity” and are now “ready for the mainstream”, according to a new forecast by ABI Research which is available to download free of charge from the NFC World Knowledge Centre.
More than 10bn silicon NFC tags will be in use by 2023, the analysts predict, while the percentage of smartphones equipped with NFC functionality will nearly double from approximately 37% in 2017 to 70% by 2023.
“Silicon tags are better equipped than ever before in terms of cost, scalability, flexibility, interoperability, and compatibility, in addition to having a mature wider ecosystem to help ensure NFC tags can be quickly and effectively integrated into cost-sensitive and high-volume products,” ABI explains in the report.
“The emergence of increasingly feature-rich NFC tags, as well as gains in tag production efficiency that have lowered unit costs to less than US$0.05, can potentially enable a vast array of products to be easily interacted with through a simple tap,” the analysts add.
“This trend can help revolutionize the retail and consumer goods markets, driving more intelligent products, increasing consumer interactions, improving customer retention, providing more effective marketing campaigns, creating tailored and personalized shopping experiences, and enabling better overall consumer experiences, all while providing extremely valuable insights and data on previously unseen customer behavior.”
Successful implementations and rollouts by leading brands and product owners over the last couple of years, meanwhile, have led to increased awareness about how NFC tags work, what type of products are successful, and how best to implement an NFC tag solution, ABI says.
This will lead to “an increase in interest over the next few years, driven further by increased production efficiencies and cost reductions for silicon tag technologies,” the analysts conclude.
The paper includes multiple charts and market forecasts and examines established use cases such as gaming, connected toys, and pairing as well as contemporary use cases including proximity marketing, brand protection, configuration and parameter setting as well as a range of emerging applications.