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Thursday, May 10, 2007
New Technology Eliminates Theft of DVDs in Retail

A network-based RFID solution developed by NXP Semiconductors can solve the problem of DVD theft throughout the supply chain.

NXP?s RFID chip technology and Kestrel?s RFA (Radio Frequency Activation) solution is possible to disable DVDs at the point of manufacture and enable them at the point of sale, making goods stolen at any point during the supply chain worthless, thus eliminating the incentive for theft.

The system has been designed for minimal disruption to existing retail Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, according to the companies. Radio frequency chips are embedded in DVDs that are activated by an RFA-enhanced RFID reader at the POS. When the chip is scanned, information is sent to the Kestrel network for authentication. Assuming all is correct, an enabling code is sent to the chip and the product is activated. An optical "shutter" that can be switched on/off is applied to DVDs, making them non-readable or readable. The optical shutter is an electro-optic device less than 1/100th the thickness of a human hair. Non-activated DVDs (shutter off) are unreadable regardless of the disc format or the playback device, according to NXP.

The first application of NXP and Kestrel?s RFA/RFID solution will be integrated into optical media. The solution, however, is applicable to all consumer electronics products, such as MP3 players, electric shavers, toothbrushes, flat screen TVs, ink jet cartridges and flash memory.

NXP and Kestrel?s network-based RFID solution could open up new opportunities for the distribution of optical media and consumer electronics. It eliminates expensive security devices, restrictive packaging and display cages.

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