Should Your Business Consider Smart Label Technology?

qr codesWhere it comes to securing the products you sell, it can pay to have technology on your side. Smart labels can offer the security your business needs, as well as provide a cost-effective means of protection. The smart label is quickly becoming an important item for retail stores as well as in other sectors such as health.

Types of Smart Security Labels

QR Code

This type of label can be scanned with a mobile phone or other device. The QR code can contain a large amount of data, and can even be split into several areas, each area containing a particular type of data. Even if the QR code has been smeared or damaged in some other way, it has the capability to correct itself. This is possible with the addition of one of four different levels of error correction code. The levels are chosen by the businesses wanting the codes prior to their production.

There are many ways in which the QR code can be used by businesses. Inventory queries can be made quickly, meaning that potential tampering or theft can be identified extremely quickly. As well, stock can be replaced quickly as information can be passed wirelessly to the code reading device, notifying staff instantly of shortages in inventory.

EAS

EAS or Electronic Article Surveillance is a type of security label that emits an alarm when an article has been tampered with. These special tags are affixed to merchandise and activated upon stocking of the items. Once purchased, the tags can be deactivated by store clerks. EAS tags are commonly used in stores that sell a lot of high-priced electronics items, but they are also used in libraries to prevent book theft.

EAS requires the installation of a detection system, which will sound an alarm should a tag be tampered with. These systems are often placed at the entrance and exits of stores, as well as in bathrooms where would-be thieves may try and remove item tags. EAS tags exist in many types, including microwave, magnetic and radio frequency.

RFID

Radio frequency identification continues to be a popular method of securing products. This label type can be as small as a grain of rice, making it a clever way to secure a wide range of products. RFID tags transmit information wirelessly via the use of electromagnetic fields. This allows items to be tracked and identified incredibly efficiently. RFID tags have received much criticism in the past because they can be placed virtually anywhere and contained personal information that can be read without the consent of an individual.

The RFID label can replace the use of bar codes and manual systems as it is far more efficient than either of these. Not only can these tags be read from virtually any distance, but they can also be read if the tag itself has been obscured in some way. These types of tag also allow for hundreds to be read at one time, unlike barcodes, which must be scanned individually.

Smart labels can also be a solution where diagnostics are required. For example, if a storage or transport facility becomes dangerously warm for the items being stored or transported, the smart tag can detect temperature and notify the business owner or storage or transport service, resulting in prevention of product loss due to damage.

Different types of smart labels can also be used simultaneously in a business to provide different levels of security. There is no doubt that, as time goes on, and technology continues to develop that smart labels will become the norm for securing products of every price and type.