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Small Tamper-Evident Beacon Aims to Prevent Product Theft and Fraud

Companies are purchasing Bluvision's new BEEKs Mini Tamper Proof Tag to protect their high-value assets or supplies, by detecting if someone breaks the beacon adhesive, and then receiving alerts based on that action.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 01, 2017

Bluvision has released a new beacon product known as the BEEKs Mini Tamper Proof Tag that is small, relatively low in cost and designed to issue an alert in the event that anyone attempts to remove it from the item to which it is attached. Bluvision created the new product to bring beacon technology to users who might require a lower-cost or tamper-evident solution. Initial buyers, the company reports, plan to use the system to protect high-value assets in offices, warehouses and armories.

Bluvision, HID Global's beacon-based Internet of Things (IoT) division, provides real-time location system (RTLS) solutions using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. The new product, released this month, is the first of its kind: a Bluetooth beacon that is tamper-proof, says John Sailer, the company's COO. Bluvision released the product at RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2017, held last week in London, England.

The BEEKs Mini Tamper Proof Tag
Until now, there was little way for companies to ensure that beacons were not tampered with. If someone were to remove a beacon from an asset or location, he or she could potentially walk away with the very asset that a BLE system was designed to manage or protect. In some cases, the perpetrator could simply use a cutting device as basic as a fishing line to sever the adhesive connection between the asset and the beacon. This vulnerability on the part of the beacons created obstacles for companies and agencies that wanted to track such items as high-value assets at military installations or electronics in an office environment or in a supply chain.

In response, Bluvision reports, the firm built its smallest device using conductive technology. The company declined to describe how the technology works. Its Bluzone cloud-based software detects that change in the transmission and issues an alert indicating that the specific beacon is being removed or otherwise tampered with.

"Our entire solution is based on policies and alerts," Sailer says. The BluFi gateway, plugged into an outlet and receiving BLE transmissions, forwards the data to the Bluzone software via a Wi-Fi connection. If the software detects an alteration or does not detect a beacon at all, it follows the predetermined protocol to send alerts or store data.

"The whole premise," Sailer explains, "is that you define the alert parameters." So if a user wanted managers to receive alerts only if a beacon moved at specific times and locations, they could direct the system accordingly. The solution, for example, can be programmed to send tamper alerts to one official, and other data (such as beacons' movements) to another individual.

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