RFID and EAS for Security

A recent project completed by the University of Arkansas’ RFID Research Center shows that using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology with EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) would not only help deter theft, but provide information that EAS alone isn’t capable of.  EAS portals, like the one pictured at left (courtesy of the RFID Research Center’s white paper), are used throughout the retail industry as a popular shoplifting deterrent.  The technology alerts the staff with an alarm when an item crosses an exit without being deactivated at the point of sale.  RFID adds to this scenario because it can provide specific information about items as they pass through the exit reader.  If a business uses RFID for tracking inventory, they will be alerted as to what items were taken and how many.  This information will not only inform storeowners of the items most often stolen, but what needs to be reordered or restocked.

The project confirmed that using RFID alone as a form of EAS warranted further investigation, but the combination of both technologies appears to be a great choice for the time being.  Using both technologies provides a redundancy check because both systems will be alerted when an item is stolen.  Rather than replacing an entire system, adding RFID might be the best choice to boost security.  For more information on the project findings, you can read the white paper on the RFID Research Center’s website.