Unauthorised Access Alert System

The Business Issue

The client had recently modernised their stores and had created a more open-plan look. A downside to this was that it had left access to the stock room open from the main showroom area. This posed two problems: An obvious security risk and a safety risk. What the client needed was an alarm system that would trigger when an unauthorised person entered the area. However, as staff were required to go back and forth as part of their normal work activity, they needed an easy non-intrusive method to disable to the alarm when they entered. Representatives from the client's Retail Protection department came to visit Codegate after 3 failed attempts with other solution providers, using an array of different technologies. Within a few minutes it became obvious that Codegate could draw upon their RFID solution experience to provide the client with a system that exactly matched their slightly unusual requirements.

The Solution

For the proof of concept Codegate kitted-out one of the client's London stores. Motion detection sensors were used to detect movement within individual access points, and individual alarm beacons were installed in the ceiling above. Tag inlays were fitted neatly into their existing staff ID lanyards.

How it works is actually quite simple. If motion is detected at one of the access points a quick tag scan is carried out using the corresponding antenna. If no "staff member" RFID tag is found in that location then the appropriate alarm beacon is activated for a couple of seconds, giving staff an audio-visual indication that a member of the public has entered the store room.

Using well-calibrated, carefully-sourced system components Codegate were able to go above and beyond the clients expectation of system performance by not only alerting the staff to a breach, but being able to indicate exactly where it had a occurred - bear in mind that some of the access points were very close together and the stock room full of metal shelving provided a tough environment for RFID. On-site testing showed that even with a member of staff standing 1 metre in front of the access point it was still possible to trigger an alert for a non-authorised entry. Testing also showed that the system allowed staff members to come and go as they pleased without triggering the alarm - a crucial element to the success of Codegate's solution.

Conclusion

Codegate left the proof of concept system in place for a couple of weeks for the client to evaluate and gather feedback from its staff. At the end of this period Codegate received an order to supply the system for installation in further stores as part of the ongoing refit programme.

This project is a great example of Codegate's dynamic approach to both hardware and software design and implementation.