Despite RFID’s popularity, not all countries are eagerly adopting it. The countries that are widely using RFID are doing so in quite varied ways. According to Teresa Henry at IDTechEx (www.idtechex.com), the US is by far the largest adopter of RFID. It has the largest number of cases of RFID in action. In addition, its orders tend to be the world’s largest in value. According to just RFID case studies, the United Kingdom holds second place behind the US. In terms of money spent, however, that title goes to China—with Korea and Japan offering fierce competition. Just one year ago, however, the RFID landscape looked quite different. Australia, for example, is quickly climbing the ranks to become one of the most active countries for RFID (see figure).

Australia’s rise is largely due to the country’s legal requirement to tag cattle and racehorses. In addition, it is conducting trials and rollouts of tagging fish, tomatoes, and other foods. The country’s advancing RFID usage probably will not let up, as it is predicted that Australia will introduce legislation to tag all four-legged livestock ahead of most other countries. Interestingly, Australia also is heavily investing in RFID for its books, libraries, and archiving sector. The same can be said of the financial, security, and safety sector, which has invited some very innovative uses. For example, RFID is being used to track police vehicles, criminals in correction facilities, pedophiles, and even forensic samples. Australia also has implemented RFID for passports, payment cards, and many mass-transit card schemes.

Like the rest of the world, high-frequency read-write passive RFID dominates the Australian markets. Yet low-frequency use comes next in contrast to the more common ultra-high frequency. For example, such low-frequency tags are used in competitive races. They are put on marathon runners’ shoes, bicycles, and more. Clearly, the world landscape—and Australia as a whole—continues to change under the influence of RFID technology.