Tagit-EAS, Truecount Work on Circumvention Resistant RFID Tag
The two companies plan to release the multifunction tag—which combines EPC RFID with EM-based electronic article surveillance—by mid-January, as well as software to manage data collected by both technologies.
Truecount and Tagit-EAS are currently working on an integrated software solution, also slated for release in mid-January. That solution would link the RFID data with the EAS system so that, for example, the EAS alert and the details of what is being removed could be stored together, and item details could be displayed on a video screen installed at the door as someone passes through it with an unpurchased item.
Because the CRRFID tag is still at the prototype stage, no Truecount or Tagit-EAS customers have yet had the opportunity to use it. The two companies have nearly two dozen variations of the tag, including different sizes, an assortment of RFID inlays from a range of vendors, and different placements of the EAS ribbon and RFID inlay. The prototypes measure approximately 3 inches by 2 inches in size. The inclusion of an RFID inlay in the EAS tag, he reports, will increase the security tag's cost by about 10 cents apiece.
For retailers, the savings will come from no longer needing to use EAS tags in addition to the RFID tags. Not only will the dual tag eliminate the cost of purchasing separate tags, but it will also eliminate the labor hours previously required for store workers to attach EAS tags to garments, and, in the case of hard tags, removing them at the point of sale. What's more, the two firms plan to offer the dual tag not only in the form of a hard tag, but also embedded in a printable price label or hangtag—thus combining an EAS tag, an RFID inlay and a price tag into a single hangtag or adhesive label.
According to a study conducted by U.K. research organization Centre for Retail Research, funded by a grant from Checkpoint Systems, shoplifting and employee theft are up 4 percent from last year, and are expected to cost U.S. retailers $8.9 billion during this year's six-week holiday season (see U.S. Retailers Expect $9 Billion in Theft During Holidays).
In 2007, Checkpoint Systems unveiled EPC Gen 2 RFID labels that incorporated an 8.2 MHz RF antitheft inlay (see Checkpoint Combines EAS Tags With RFID). A year later, LC Waikiki, a clothing retailer operating in Eastern Europe, rolled out a system involving hard tags combining EPC Gen 2 RFID and acousto-magnetic EAS technologies (see Turkish Retailer Uses Hybrid EAS-RFID Tags to Stop Theft, Improve Inventory Management). And in 2010, Retailers Advantage announced that three clothing-store operators would be using its Intelligent a3tag, which combined traditional EAS technology with EPC Gen 2 RFID inlays (see Apparel Retailers Test RFID-enhanced EAS Hard Tags).
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