Both RFID and IoT markets are in rapid growth mode. RFID, GPS, and mobile devices are getting connected to the internet for track and trace, visibility, cold chain tracking, transportation management, marketing and many other applications. With IoT, equipment—whether with sensors, RFID, mobile, or good ol’ internet cables—is being connected to the internet to monitor and extend the functionality of products and monitor processes, fixed or in motion. The convergence is obvious.
Devices are everywhere. Yet hardware companies (chips and sensors) have become a bit worried that the hardware will be commoditized and their companies will become unattractive—part of a low-level commodity-like sector. This comes, ironically, just as their future shines bright with a positive growth rate in the market.
Moore’s Law is well known in the technology business. But along with Moore comes the commodity blues, something many hardware markets experience. The ‘newness’ wears off. Competitors enter the market and drive down prices. As initial hardware offerings evolve with each revision, offering more and different features and many improvements, they often cost less and have lower profit margins. PCs and storage are examples.
So what does any self-respecting hardware company do to avoid the commodity blues? Software!