What would I need to do to monitor keys for my car lot as they are hung on or taken off of a board when vehicles are driven out on a test drive?
It would depend on exactly what you wanted the system to do. For example, if you wanted to know that a set of keys was removed from the rack, then that would be different than knowing that keys had been removed from a specific hook. A good option might be to put the keys in a glass case that can be opened via an RFID-enabled employee badge. A worker would have to scan his or her badge to open the case and remove a set of keys. The system would identify which employee opened the case and which set of keys was removed. An alert could be sent to a manager via text message if a set of keys was not returned within, say, 30 minutes or an hour.
You would likely need to work with a company with some experience in setting up such systems, but it would involve installing a passive high-frequency (HF) or ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) system in the case and putting an RFID locking mechanism in place. The software to identify the keys removed and the employee who opened the case would be fairly simple to set up.
We have written a couple of stories of dealers that have set up such a system:
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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