Archive for the ‘Thought leadership’ Category

U.S. debt ceiling debate could impact Impinj IPO

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A report from Credit Suisse this morning and carried by CNNMoney states that if the U.S. fails to raise the debt ceiling and defaults on its loans next week, the result could be a stock market tumble of one-third or more, and a contraction in the economy of five percent.

That’s bad news for everybody, but especially for companies like Impinj that are on the doorstep of going public. If the infighting over the U.S. debt continues, it’s entirely possible that capital for IPOs could dry up if the debt ceiling debate is not resolved quickly.

So you can’t blame the folks at Impinj for being a bit anxious as they prepare for the EPC solution provider’s IPO. Until recently, technology, social media and Internet IPOs were buzzing, with Internet high-flyers LinkedIn and Zillow seeing big gains on their opening day of trading. What’s to think that a hot RFID play with a great growth story wouldn’t have the same kind of debut?

If successful, Impinj would represent the first RFID pure play in the public markets. “Specifically, it would be the first EPC pure play, so the message clearly would be that the EPC market is coming on board quickly,” says one industry insider. A successful IPO “would definitely show that the core component of the industry – the tag and the reader — is a growing market and that there is a growing demand for it.”

But the stalemate in Washington, and the possibility of a U.S. default on Monday, could impact all IPOs going forward. As Washington continues to try and iron out a solution, the stock market endured losses this week until a modest turnaround today. Yesterday, ADS Tactical, Inc. (ADS) announced that it has terminated its IPO due to adverse market conditions. The company provides logistical services, mainly to the federal government.

“It’s a very dangerous situation right now, and anything remotely connected to the government, and the possibility of a temporary or perhaps permanent reduction in revenues, is turning people off,” says Scott Sweet, Senior Managing Partner at IPO Boutique. “That will be the case until there is a plan that seems workable, but at the moment it doesn’t seem as they are getting anywhere.”

Impinj might luck out in that its IPO is likely still six to eight weeks away, during which time the debt ceiling debate could be put behind us. Impinj filed its IPO in April, and its S1 was filed on the same day as Internet real estate firm Zillow, which went public this week. So that means Impinj could be getting close.

A successful Impinj IPO would be a stellar sign for the industry. Impinj is a relatively small company with sales of just under $32 million in 2010. However, the firm has a strong IP position and a very strong market position, and a successful IPO would enable Impinj to further advance the overall RFID marketplace through increased funds for R&D and marketing to develop new applications. Impinj has been very supportive of industry-wide application development, and a successful IPO would only enhance that.


New study reveals increased RFID adoption

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

A survey of more than 100 companies reveals that 34 percent of organizations are using, piloting, or already in the process of implementing RFID technology – representing a 21 percent increase over a similar study conducted by CYBRA Corp. in 2008.

Greater inventory accuracy, increased profits and improved efficiencies were the three primary reasons mentioned for deploying the technology. Of those using or implementing the technology, 80 percent say they will do so because of  EPC (Electronic Product Code) compliance issues and also to maximize profits.

Improved inventory accuracy (60 percent) and EPC Compliance (55 percent) remain the top two business drivers for RFID adoption. Those who cited EPC compliance as a driver for deployment (24 percent) also cited item level tagging as a current initiative.

Almost half of survey respondents say that the ROI is now less than two years due to reduced labor costs from RFID, much improved inventory accuracy, and the fact that software, tags, and hardware are now less expensive.

Click here to view the entire report.

Tomorrow, we write about an exciting new asset tracking application.

RFID 24-7 Q&A: Impinj founder Chris Diorio talks about the future of RFID technology

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Chris Diorio, Impinj’s chairman and CTO, recently won the RFID Special Achievement award at the RFID Journal show in Orlando. Dr. Diorio was recognized for his work in the development of the UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID standard.

Diorio took some time this week to discuss the award with RFID 24-7, as well as what the future holds for RFID technology.

What does the Special Achievement Award mean to you?

“The Special Achievement Award is an honor and I’m very thankful to have been chosen. But I don’t feel like the award is mine alone—there were many other individuals who were instrumental in delivering a robust UHF Gen2 standard and my thanks goes out to them. And, of course, the standards work isn’t done and I look forward to continuing to evolve UHF Gen2. I would also like to recognize the other award finalists—the work that Roger Blazek and Bill Hardgrave have done to advance RFID in the retail space is truly outstanding.”

RFID technology has made huge advances in the last two years, both from adoption and the technology itself. Where do you see RFID in 3-5 years?

“As evidenced by recent reports by VDC Research, UHF Gen2 is the fastest growing segment of the RFID market. I think current applications of the technology represent the tip of the iceberg and I expect continued growth in the apparel space and expansion into other consumer retail product categories like consumer electronics and jewelry, as well as into government-mandated categories like pharmaceuticals and liquor.”

“In terms of technology advances, I think that we will continue to see standard product improvements but expect that emphasis will be on developing application-focused solutions that couple together standard off-the-shelf components with specialized antennas and software. An example of an application-specific solution is our recent launch of the STP source-tagging platform for retail brand owners and service bureaus that are trying to scale their item-level tagging operations.”

As you look back over the years, what has been the biggest challenge faced by the industry?

“Developing and getting agreement from everyone for a single, worldwide standard, which we accomplished in December 2004 with the ratification of UHF Gen2 and its subsequent adoption by ISO. After that it was gratifying to see the first products launched and performing as anticipated, but the delay between the availability of superior products and true retail adoption took longer than any of us had anticipated. I am pleased to see the performance improvements we’ve made over the past several years that really take advantage of the standard’s capabilities, and I am especially pleased to see the adoption that is happening now.”

What challenges remain?

“Two items:  First, adding anti-counterfeiting, loss-prevention, security, files and file management, and untraceability to the UHF Gen2 standard while maintaining backward compatibility with currently deployed systems. Secondly, continuing to ease adoption through performance/feature improvements, cost reductions, education, and solutions enablement.”

Can you discuss the improvements being made to Gen 2 technology and what they will enable?

“The enhancements we are making to UHF Gen2 will allow it to better meet user requirements for loss prevention, consumer privacy, and usage in consumer electronics, aerospace, and applications that require secure access.  GS1 EPCglobal would like to ratify the enhanced standard, known as UHF Gen2 V2, in 2012.”

What’s the future for RFID? Will the technology eventually become ubiquitous in every day life?

“I think RFID will become part of the fabric of our everyday lives, and in so doing will become less overt and less ‘techy.’  Coke’s Freestyle machine is a great example of UHF RFID’s value – the technology is embedded and used in such a way that it provides real business value and improves consumer experience. RFID has such huge potential in so many areas — I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring!”