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Trimble introduces high-performance USB UHF RFID reader ••• Nedap, Axis launch integrated EAS-video solution ••• Checkpoint announces tunnel readers for boxed and hanging goods ••• Missouri School District tests Nedap's RFID-enabled technology to improve security ••• Global consumer goods company orders thousands of Thinfilm NFC tags.
By Beth Bacheldor

Missouri School District Tests Nedap's RFID-enabled Technology to Improve Security

According to Nedap, the Hollister R-V School District, in Hollister, Mo., is testing RFID technology from Nedap Identification Systems across its schools in order to improve the safety of students and personnel. The addition of the RFID technology is designed to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering city schools or accessing school buses.

The Hollister R-V School District serves approximately 1,400 students and has more than 224 employees. To improve security, the campus implemented Nedap's solution for hands-free door access. According to Nedap, its access card technology features extended range authorization on a passive credential—a credential that is the same size as a common proximity access card. Nedap's ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) reader, the uPASS Access, is small enough to be mounted on a standard doorpost, can be integrated with most access-control systems, and can read a credential from as far away as 6 feet, the company reports. These performance capabilities facilitate hands-free access authorization, Nedap says, making high throughput portals flow freely while maintaining security protocols.

With help from local integrator Tuxen and Associates, the Nedap uPASS Access readers were mounted at multiple building entrances, and cards were issued to the appropriate personnel. For the purposes of the pilot, only teachers, administrators and some staff members are currently testing the system.

"The addition of this technology combines the best of both worlds—free-flow access and maintained security," said Sean Woods, the Hollister R-V School District's assistant superintendent, in a prepared statement. "It's common for teachers and staff to have a handful of items when approaching a door and having to search for and present an access card is both a hassle and a hazard. This eliminates that need. Plus, the added convenience has resulted in better compliance with our security protocols. In the past it was more common for teachers to prop open a door or hold the door open for others in order to either be polite or helpful. And while we encourage polite behavior, in this case it was circumventing our security policies. That is very important because the best polices in the world won't work if your people don't adhere to them."

Long-range vehicle access readers and tags are also being used to address vehicle access needs. Nedap TRANSIT Standard readers were installed at the ingress and egress points of the bus yard, and Dual!D transponder boosters are mounted on the interior of the windshield of busses. The Dual!D transponder booster is able to relay both the encrypted identifier native to the transponder, as well as boost the read range of a standard proximity card to a maximum distance of 10 meters (33 feet). This, according to Nedap, allows the back-end system to correlate the driver, via their personal card credential, and bus, via the in-vehicle transponder, together in a "two-man rule" for purposes of increased security, as well as audit- and fleet-management functions. To bridge any technology dissonance when needed, Nedap issued its UHF/Prox combi-cards so that users still only require a single credential to use both frequencies of readers.

The readers and tags for vehicle access is designed to ensure that only authorized drivers driving an assigned district vehicle can enter and leave the premises, preventing unauthorized vehicle exit or entry within school premises. The solution is also designed to reduce or eliminate gate access chokepoints, Nedap says. The extended read range afforded by the Nedap readers means that as soon as the bus comes within the read zone, authentication can be initiated and the gate will begin to open, thereby eliminating the need for the driver to stop and present a credential. The enhanced security system also creates a record of every event and documents which drivers were driving which vehicles on any given day. Moreover, the solution prevents a vehicle undergoing maintenance from exiting the yard before it is released for service.

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