Small Tamper-evident Beacon Aims to Prevent Product Theft and Fraud

Companies are purchasing Bluvision's new BEEKs Mini Tamper Proof Tag to protect their high-value assets or supplies, by detecting if someone breaks the beacon adhesive, and then receiving alerts based on that action.
By Claire Swedberg

According to the company, the BEEKs Mini is about the size of two quarters stacked one on top of the other. This small form-factor enables it to be attached to mobile items, such as a laptop computer, a tablet or smaller-sized, specialized assets. It can also be mounted on high-value items, Sailer notes, including tools, electronics or medical equipment.

The tamper-evident device includes a built-in beacon transmitter, while it can also be purchased with an accelerometer and a temperature monitor. Therefore, multiple versions of the tag are available—with either or both of the sensors, and in the two sizes. The price, based on the size and the sensors chosen, varies from $8 to $12 per tag, while beacons can typically average $20 to $24 apiece.

Because the BEEKs Mini is smaller than the other products in Bluvision's portfolio, it is also less expensive, with less hardware built into it, such as a smaller housing and battery. One compromise the technology company has had to make is in power storage; because it uses a smaller battery, the life expectancy of that battery is approximately three years, as opposed to about five years for the larger version. There is also a beacon with a 10-year battery life. Bluvision has already sold thousands of the new beacons, Sailer reports, and expects large installations using the tags to take place—including a deployment by at least one international military agency—by the first quarter of 2018.

The lower price point, in addition to tamper detection, may make automated tracking feasible for companies that have previously opted out of the technology's use. Previously, Sailer notes, if a company wanted to track laptops but only lost a few dozen each year, tagging hundreds of computers was not cost-effective. "Now," he states, "with the suggested retail price at less than $15 [per beacon], it starts to make sense."

The BEEKs beacons support both the Eddystone and iBeacon protocols. The product is part of HID Global's portfolio of tamper-evident products. Earlier this year, HID Global also released a UHF RFID tamper tag known as the Seal Tag edTamper (see Tamper-Evident Tag Transmits Whether or Not Seal Breaks).

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