Company Adds Screens To Anti-Theft Totems Common At Retail Gateways
June 22, 2022 by Dave Haynes
A Vancouver, BC-area company is marketing a display totem product for retail that, interesting, doubles up as a loss prevention tool.
Just about any consumer will be familiar with vertical totems that shoppers need to walk though as they exit a store, with embedded electronics in the devices doing what’s called Electronic Article Surveillance loss prevention, or EAS.
The Surrey-area firm INEO Tech Corp. has screens embedded in the units, so they can double up as sales promotion or advertising displays. A dual 32-inch portrait screen version of the units – called INEO Welcoming System DUO – is being launched at the National retail Federation’s Protect 2022 Conference.
“From the first day we installed our patented INEO Welcoming System in a retail store we have had requests for a version which has a digital display screen on each side,” says Greg Watkin, Founder and Chairman of INEO. “Now that we are installing systems in larger stores, operated by national and international retailers, the opportunity warranted us putting the time and effort into developing a dual screen version. Our team took on a very difficult engineering problem and did an incredible job delivering a product which satisfies all the requirements of a leading Electronic Article Surveillance loss prevention system plus two large, bright advertising screens to display advertising from our retail media network.”
The company says developing a product that could do two very different things was more challenging than it might appear, owing to the need to ensure the screen and related tech did not mess up the core functionality of the EAS system.
The INEO Welcoming System DUO utilizes the same technology the Company has originally designed for the INEO Welcoming System which allows it to operate in both the Accousto-Magnetic (AM) 58KHz frequency spectrum and the 8.2MHz frequency spectrum. Digital display screens are inherently “noisy” as they cause electromagnetic interference which hinders the detection of loss prevention tags in a retail store; however, INEO has developed technology which allows the EAS loss prevention aspect of the system to still operate effectively with two large digital display screens located within the detection field.
This at least seems clever, as they make more use of devices that many stores put in place anyway to reduce shoplifting. In theory, at least, advertising on these units could generate revenues that offset or nullify the cost of the EAS units. But as anyone who has tried it, place-based advertising looks a lot easier than it really is.