Overview of the EAS system
With the continuous improvement of people’s living standards and the continuous evolution of lifestyles towards leisure and comfort, in shopping malls, bookstores, libraries, and other occasions, open-shelf sales and open-shelf lending have become the primary means for people to shop and borrow.
It serves as the primary means to improve service quality and economic efficiency. But the problem that followed is: the loss of goods and books has become a headache for merchants. It severely harms merchants’ interests, causes merchants to lose profits in vain, and even leads to the closure of shopping malls.
How to prevent theft of goods and protect businesses’ interests has attracted more and more attention from retailers. In this context, the EAS system is gradually recognized and accepted by most merchants, and its application in shopping malls, libraries, and other fields is also becoming more extensive.
EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance), also known as electronic commodity anti-theft system, is a widely used commodity security measure in the retail industry. It is a high-tech electronic anti-theft device. It uses high-tech means to give goods a self-defense ability, effectively protecting interests and preventing them from being stolen. In foreign countries, 90% of retail businesses use EAS systems to reduce the theft rate. In China, the EAS system has gradually been accepted and adopted by many merchants. EAS system is the most reliable and economical high-tech management method to reduce theft and loss.
A typical EAS system generally consists of three parts: 1) an electronic sensor attached to the product; 2) an electronic sensor control device so that the authorized product can enter and exit normally; 3) a monitor, which has specific radiation within a particular area of the exit Surveillance space.
The EAS system’s working principle is: in the surveillance area, the transmitter transmits a signal to the receiver at a particular frequency. Transmitters and receivers are generally installed at the entrances and exits of retail stores and libraries to form a specific surveillance space. When a tag with unique characteristics enters the area, it will interfere with the transmitter’s signal. The receiver will also receive this interference signal, and after the analysis and judgment of the microprocessor, it will control the alarm’s sound.
The application’s detection signal method can be divided into different types such as radio system, electromagnetic wave system, microwave system, frequency division system, intelligent system, and magnetic, acoustic system. At present, the EAS system has also been widely used in major shopping malls, bookstores, and libraries in China. Its basic working principle is as follows:
(1) Attach the magnetic strip to the product.
(2) Install a detector at the exit channel of the mall.
(3) The authorized product is demagnetized by a dedicated degausser to make the magnetic strip invalid.
(4) When unauthorized goods (not demagnetized) pass through the exit, the access control detector detects and issues an alarm to intercept the goods’ entry.
RFID technology’s attention to EAS
With the continuous advancement of technology, in recent years, especially in the past five years, the application of Internet of Things technology has achieved rapid development, especially in warehousing, logistics, and intelligent transportation.
The Internet of Things has shown muscular technical strength and vitality. As one of the leading technologies of the Internet of Things, RFID technology has attracted more and more attention. As an upgraded technology of barcode, RFID technology has incomparable barcode advantages, such as multi-target recognition, remote recognition, confidentiality, etc., which will not be repeated here.
As a supporting EAS technology developed with barcodes, what role should it play in the RFID era? Does it continue to exist intact? Disappear? Or keep up with the pace of RFID technology and keep pace with the times? The first thing is sure: EAS, as an effective anti-theft technology in shopping malls, will not end its historical mission because of the withdrawal of barcodes.
Combining with RFID technology, the EAS technology scheme based on RFID technology is proposed. Based on the traditional EAS, this technology stores the anti-theft information in the RFID electronic tag. Through the identification of the electronic tag, the purpose of anti-theft is achieved.
Application Analysis of UHF Electronic Tag EAS Function
RFID is classified according to frequency. There are low frequency, high frequency, ultra-high frequency, microwave, and other RFIDs, which have their strengths in different application fields. This article only describes the EAS technology involved in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID with broad application prospects in warehousing, logistics, retail, book management, and intelligent transportation.
Take large-scale retail applications as an example. Suppose UHF RFID technology is used for quick and easy access management of goods, while the original EAS system is used for access monitoring. In that case, it will inevitably cause two systems to exist at the same time. Bring difficulties and increase the operating costs of businesses.
Because the ISO18000-6C agreement does not stipulate EAS related standards, different electronic label chip design companies have other considerations in EAS design. This article takes NXP’s second-generation RFID chip as an example to briefly introduce the EAS working principle of the RFID electronic tag chip.
Electronic label registration
Before using an electronic tag, it needs to be registered. Registration is writing the item’s necessary information to be attached to the electronic tag and entering the information into the database. Each electronic tag has a special read-write EAS bit, which can be modified only through specific commands. During the label registration process, the EAS bit is set at the same time.
Before goods with electronic tags are shipped out of the warehouse, a reader must send special instructions to clear the EAS bit in the electronic tags. Only commodities that have completed this step can safely pass through the exit detection device. Take book borrowing as an example.
When a reader selects a book and needs to borrow it, he can go through the borrowing procedure on the self-service borrowing and returning machine. The self-service borrowing and producing machine will automatically clear the EAS bit. Readers can pass the detection door safely. If you have not gone through the borrowing procedures, there will be a sound and light alarm when you give the inspection door.
At present, there are more and more companies that can provide UHF RFID electronic tags. Different companies have different definitions and access methods for EAS bits. When designing EAS for various RFID electronic tags, you first need to know its access instructions. The RFID electronic tags provided by other companies do not have a dedicated EAS bit.
For such tags, what should I do if I want to use the EAS function? The usual practice is to open up 1 to more data bits in the EPC area or user data area to simulate the EAS function. The specific position and size can be defined by yourself according to the development needs.
When the EAS function is needed, the particular value of the specific location can be specified. When the monitoring module reads the electronic tag, it first analyzes the EAS bit and drives an alarm when an abnormality is found. However, the use of this analog EAS function is generally less efficient than the dedicated EAS function.
The traditional retail industry and other fields mostly use the bar code plus EAS sales management model. The promotion and application of RFID technology in the retail sector and other areas will surely bring innovative changes to the industry.
Simultaneously, because RFID technology itself considers the EAS function, in many places where RFID technology is applied, the EAS function can be easily realized, simplifying management and reducing costs.
It is a high-end shopping mall. Large and medium-sized supermarkets, libraries, and other display humanized management and Iconic equipment with technological content is an inevitable trend in the development of modern retail and other fields.