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Bergische Security Co. Gains Visibility Via NFC

The firm uses NFC-enabled mobile phones and RFID tags to monitor security guards at its client sites.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 07, 2012Berlin's Bergische Bewachungsgesellschaft mbH (Bergische Security Co.) is employing Near Field Communication (NFC) passive radio frequency identification tags and mobile phones to provide visibility into the movements of its security officers at clients' sites. The InViu NFC-tracker system was provided by German tracking and monitoring solutions firm Enaikoon. The solution enables officers to tap a smartphone against tags installed through the buildings they monitor, thereby creating a digital record of where they go and when, in addition to issuing alerts to be sent if they fail to complete expected tasks.

The system enables the company to provide data regarding the officers' movements to clients, according to Evelyn Neuhaus, Bergische Security's owner. What's more, it's low-cost, since there is no need to purchase hardware, such as RFID readers. Instead, security guards simply utilize RFID-enabled mobile phones and pay a monthly fee to access hosted data.

A Bergische Security Co. employee checks in, using a Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 phone to read a round, black NFC RFID tag.
Until last year, the company employed a guard-monitoring system with a bar-code scanner, as well as an RFID reader shaped like a pen and known as a "proxy pen." Guards could use that system to scan bar-code labels affixed to various points along the routes they patrolled, as well as read RFID tags in some cases. The collected data was stored on the handheld reader or scanner, or transmitted wirelessly to the company's control center. Beginning in 2009, the firm began outfitting its service vehicles with GPS-based devices provided by Enaikoon, with the GPS data managed by InViu software.

In 2011, when the existing guard-monitoring system was discontinued, Bergische began seeking another solution to track guards on foot. GPS, while useful on vehicles, was not an option since the guards would often be indoors. Enaikoon offered an NFC solution that was a fraction of the cost of the other RFID-based options, since it requires only RFID tags and NFC-enabled phones. Additionally, Enaikoon's software platform could integrate guards' NFC-based data with the vehicle-tracking GPS data.

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