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Casino Prevents Security Violations Via Beacon Solution

Thanks to a system provided by Barcoding Inc. and Visybl, Mount Airy Casino Resort is alerted if an employee begins to remove a key from its facility, enabling it to prevent regulatory infractions.
By Claire Swedberg

Asbury explained her predicament to Barcoding Inc., which began considering solutions, says Tom O'Boyle, Barcoding Inc.'s RFID director. The problem with passive RFID tags, he explains, is that the technology could not guarantee a 100 percent read rate due to the large size of the doorway's opening, or if an employee had a tagged key in a pocket or purse. Barcoding Inc. has been testing beacon technology from Visybl for the past year, O'Boyle says, and the firm and Mount Airy agreed that the beacons would work well for this application.

Visybl, a Maryland-based startup, was launched in 2015 by PV Subramanian, formerly the senior product manager at Zebra Technologies. He says he founded the company to meet a perceived need for BLE solutions. While working for Zebra, Subramanian recalls, he noticed that mobile-based asset-management systems were all moving from Microsoft Windows Mobile operating systems to iOS- and Android-based apps, and both Android and iOS devices come with BLE capabilities. Nearly everyone has an Android or iOS device, he says, adding that consequently, "Everyone should be saying, 'I have a sensor gateway in my pocket.'"

A triangular Visybl AssetBeacon was affixed to the ring used to secure each of the casino's keys (or set of keys) to an iFob.
Visybl visited Mount Airy Casino Resort, installed a CloudNode reader above the employee door and attached battery-powered beacons to 280 of the casino's most critical keys. The triangular beacon tags measure approximately 2 inches square.

The casino faced a unique challenge, Subramanian says, in that the locked cabinets in which keys are stored are located only about 20 feet from the egress where Mount Airy wanted to prevent the keys' potential exit. Therefore, Visybl adjusted not only the beacons' power level, but also the CloudNode reader's sensitivity, in order to accommodate the cabinet's close proximity to the doorway. In addition, although the CloudNode can still read the beacon tags within the locked cabinet, the software's algorithms are set to ignore those transmissions until they come within about 15 feet of the exit door where the reader is installed.

The system was taken live in July 2016. When an employee needs a key, he or she still uses the Traka system to access it, creating a record of which key was removed. Now, however, the key has a beacon tag attached to it that transmits a unique identifier every few seconds, linked to that key's description in the Visybl cloud-based software.

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