New Smart Tags Use the IoT to Nab Shoplifters


Existing anti-theft tags on merchandise can easily be evaded.

Finland-based start up Noccela has introduced new smart tags that allow retailers to use the IoT to track inventory and get alerted instantly to shoplifting attempts.

Shoplifting costs retailers millions each year, but it’s very hard to deter it. Security gates, tags and other anti-theft efforts can easily be tricked, and many shoplifters have become experts at doing so. Nocella company says these new tags will allow store managers and security to not only track item location in real time, but will alert them instantly if any of a variety of common shoplifting methods is in use. The tags provide an accurate location up up to half a meter.

“Other solutions would need something like between 40-60 sensors to provide accuracy of up to half a metre in a room measuring 3,000 sqm. With Noccela, you need just eight sensors to cover the same area,” Noccela CTO Tapani Talvitie told IBTimes UK at the Slush 2016 tech conference in Helsinki. “People don’t normally take a PS4 to a fitting room. We’re using different radio frequencies to triangulate the position of the tag and there is two-way communication between the tag and the cloud.”

If someone tries to take a product into a restricted area, an alert is sent to a sensor in the ceiling of the store and then to the cloud, where it is delivered via a smartphone app or through a dashboard on a computer. The tags will also detect and instantly alert if the item is placed in a foil-lined bag (a common shoplifting tactic used to fool alarms), or if the tag is tampered with in any way, including being cut, having the pin removed, or the use of magnets. It will also let the store know if their alarm system is not functioning properly.

The tags also provide inventory control via real-time analytics so the store always knows exactly how much product it has and when the supply of a particular product is running low. The location features also assist associates in returning left behind product to its proper area.


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Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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