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Evolution of EAS

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 42 Issue: 12 Dated: December 1998 Pages: 44-48-50
A Longmore-Etheridge
Date Published
6 pages
Electronic article surveillance (EAS) is an option for use by retailers to prevent shoplifting and employee theft; the technology, how and when it is applied, and what it can do for retailers continues to evolve.
Source tagging, which entails attaching EAS tags to the product at the manufacturing stage, is in increasing use. Source tagging encourages sales while providing security. EAS source tags include unobtrusive woven labels, printed labels, graphic hang-tags for apparel, and logo hang-tags. Another emerging trend in EAS is source tagging designed in at the product development phase; this approach could be called stealth tagging. The two main current types of EAS technology are radio frequency (RF) and acousto-magnetic. However, radio frequency identification (RFID) may become available as early as next year. RFID stores data on an integrated circuit in a chip; information can be added to the chip. The information is read using either a hand-held device or by antennas in industrial, warehouse, or other settings. RFID could save large amounts of time for retailers, particularly during inventorying. RFID will also aid in preventing product diversion and various types of return fraud. It may also permit self-checkout and an expansion of active merchandising in the future as well. Thus, what began as a security device may offer other business benefits that help loss prevention specialists sell their protection program to retail management. Illustration