Lowe’s has launched a new solution developed by its innovative lab division designed to combat retail theft invisible to customers by using eas tag and blockchain. the new technology, called Project Unlock, combines low-cost RFID chips and IoT sensors to activate power tools at the time of purchase, while also creating a secure, publicly accessible and anonymous legal purchase record on the blockchain.

eas security

According to the National Retail Federation, organized retail crime has been on the rise since 2020, That results in retailers losing $700,000 per billion in sales. So far, solutions typically involve locking in high-value goods, but Lowe’s new technology allows the company to discard its padlocks and shelf doors.

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How to Solve the Theft Problem Through the Eas Tag?

Lowe’s, an American home improvement retailer, has implemented a proof-of-concept called Project Unlock, which uses radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, Internet of Things sensors and blockchain technology. The solution is currently being tested at several Lowe’s stores in the US.

eas tag

Project Unlock Has two interrelated solutions. The first is point-of-of-sale product activation, where only legally purchased products can be activated. This means that if the power tool is stolen, it will not be usable.

POS activation is supported by RFID EAS tags, embedded in the product by the manufacturer and preloaded with a unique serial number for each project. The serial number is also embedded in the barcode of the box and the product is set to “Unoperable”. When the barcode is scanned on the cash register, it is activated for use.

The RFID chip is a low-cost solution that many retailers use to prevent theft. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2022 Retail Security Survey, 38.6% of all retailers have implemented or plan to implement the RFID system.

However, Shabtai explains that combining RFID systems with blockchain networks could provide retailers with transparent tamper-proof records to track in-store purchases.

He said, “Unlocking the project, we registered a unique ID and assigned it to each of our power tools. After purchasing the product, the RFID system activates the power tool for use. At the same time, anyone can view the transaction because the information is recorded in a public blockchain network.”

Will Retailers Adopt a Blockchain Solution to Combat Theft?

While blockchain can help with in-store theft, retailers may be hesitant to adopt the technology for a number of reasons. For example, the blockchain’s association with cryptocurrencies could be a pain point for companies. Recent events, such as the collapse of the FTX, reinforce this.

security tag

However, Shabtai remains optimistic and notes that Lowe’s Innovation Labs believes that it is important to consider new technologies to better understand what is feasible.

“With Project Unlock, we have shown that blockchain technology is valuable. We hope this serves as evidence of other retailers considering similar solutions, ” he said. Lowe’s Innovation Labs plans to develop its solution beyond power tools, Shabtai added.

While noteworthy, Sarkeshi notes that consumers may have a hard time understanding the value of using a blockchain to record transactions.”For example, if I am a customer of used products, why should I care if it was stolen,” he said. Given this, Sarkeshi believes that in order for such solutions to be fully successful, the customer mindset must be changed. He said:

“This is a cultural-building challenge. Some customers initially feel bad about buying stolen products, but we need that to have a full resonance. We want our customers to know that everyone in the supply chain gets hurt when the product is stolen. Building this culture may be challenging, but I believe it will happen in the long term.


Eas tag the combination with NFT means that RF technology has reached a new height, and there will be more interesting scientific concepts combined in the future.

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