The Austrian outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Northland has introduced a new RFID-enabled security system. The system employs a dual-function tag manufactured by UPM Raflatac to both track inventory and serve as an anti-theft device.
In a pilot project at the retailer’s new Graz store, around 1,300 items ranging from jackets to thermos flasks are equipped with RFID tags. The tags serve as passive EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID tags for inventory purposes, but an additional feature of the tag’s embedded chip enables it to also work as an electronic article surveillance tag.
The chip, manufactured by NXP Semiconductors, has additional memory that can be altered to indicate if the attached item has been purchased, which in turn will determine whether an alarm will sound when the item leaves the store.
The system uses RF-iT’s You-R OPEN software for both its inventory and security functions. In the case of a security alert, the software contacts mall security and then provides a text display at point-of-sale terminals listing any detected items which were not purchased. As a bonus of the dual-function system, even if stolen items are not recovered, inventories are still adjusted for the loss.
If the pilot program is successful, Northland plans to place the system in more of its retail outlets. The company currently operates in 36 countries around the world.