Mainstream adoption of item-level RFID tagging is at least five years away, according to Con Vass, vice president of retail and point-of-sale heavyweight NCR.
Vass said integration and interoperability problems between vendors, coupled with continuing high tag costs, are delaying proliferation.
He said data used for creating demand profiles currently represents the best way to design cashier-free supermarkets or self-service checkouts.
"We will see self-service evolve and be built into a lot of retail outlets ... In Europe and America the self-checkout is becoming a mainstay and a key performance indicator of a lot of retailers - Tesco, Wal-Mart, Sainsbury's - are all utilizing the ability for people to check themselves out of a retail store," Vass said.
"Self-services will happen - whether you check into an airline or check out of a store using self-service technology. RFID technology will be revolutionary but the applications and solutions will evolve.
"If you look at the typical supply chain it makes, moves, sells and uses - right now the part we are at is the making part for manufacturers and distributors to be using RFID - we are moving towards the store as the barcoding technology evolves and what is happening now in the retail industry is practical experience."