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Wi-Fi Meets RFID to Take on Theft Prevention

A new system that combines RFID and Wi-Fi is purportedly a better solution to the problem of theft prevention than the EPC network.
Oct 12, 2004This article was originally published by RFID Update.

October 12, 2004—A new RFID system called RFID Enhanced System for Preventing Employee and Customer Theft, or "RespectRFID" for short, has been developed by a group of Washington state-based engineers that claim it is a better solution to the problem of item tracking and theft prevention than the EPC network. Based on a combination of RFID and Wi-Fi, RespectRFID vastly increases the range that RFID tag data can be transmitted, from a few meters to upwards of 300 feet. Unlike current RFID systems, which require that tagged items be passed within relatively close proximity to low-powered readers placed intermittently throughout a store or warehouse, RespectRFID's long range allows the real-time, simultaneous monitoring of up to one million tagged goods. Each transceiver, of which there are two per aisle, has two video cameras attached to it, attesting to the heavy anti-theft focus of the system's design. Camera recording is triggered by exceptional events, such as when a tag stops transmitting according to its expected schedule. The idea is that the system will capture film footage of an illegal event taking place that can later be used in court. Despite the purported improvements by the RespectRFID system to EPC, one has to wonder whether it's simply too late to reverse the momentum of the latter.

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