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RFID tracking protects high value art

Vuance : 26 June, 2008  (Application Story)
Art in transit or in galleries protected by RFID tagging and tracking to provide dealers with peace of mind
Vuance has announced that innovative art dealers are using its AAID Security Solutions' Asset Tags and Passive Readers to monitor the status of valuable paintings, both in galleries and during transit.

AAID's programmable RFID tags communicate with ultra long-range passive RFID readers to identify the presence and location of assets and company personnel, and provide timely alarms when assets, such as works of art and computers, aren't in their proper location. This information can be delivered to company management locally or via the Internet.

The French Art Network, a leading New Orleans Art Dealer with multiple locations throughout the country, including the French Quarter in New Orleans and Carmel by the Sea, California, has selected AAID's Long Range Asset Tags and Passive Readers to monitor and secure the presence of valuable artwork in and between its galleries, because senior management was not always present to monitor the inventory in real-time. A comprehensive asset management solution was developed by Florida-based Silent Partner Technologies, an AAID/Vuance business partner and systems integrator.

The asset management solution called for placing a programmed RFID Tag on each piece of art which would identify the artwork and its location. Every 10 minutes, strategically located long-range RFID readers provide a "roll call" of the artwork inventory. This inventory information from each gallery is sent via a customised website portal to The French Art Network headquarters where it is synchronised, so every 10 minutes management knows the exact status of its entire inventory.

Further, to prevent artwork theft, especially when paintings are moved from one gallery to another, each RFID Tag contains a tamper counter. This device enables management to determine if someone tries to swap tags between paintings while outside of reader range. If someone tries to swap tags between paintings, the tamper counters automatically advance, providing the monitoring system with a time stamp of the "tamper event." This allows the galleries to take appropriate action once paintings are back within reader range.

"AAID's programmable tags and readers enabled us to build a holistic solution that cost-effectively maintains inventory of expensive assets for management and simultaneously prevents theft," said Ted Kostis, President of Silent Partner Technologies. "The automated tag-reader 'roll call' system saves the French Art Network and other forward-thinking galleries the time and expense it otherwise would have spent to take inventory using a hand-held Barcode reader. It also serves as a deterrent to theft, because the employees understand that any tampering with artwork is recorded. The net result of this inventory/security system is reduced insurance costs, significant improvement in inventory management and an increase in productivity as a result of having true real-time data across all gallery stores."

"Most important," noted Jack Sutton, owner of The French Art Network, "this system gives me peace of mind. I can even get an email alert every time a painting is sold!"

"Vuance works through leading system integrators to adopt AAID's long range RFID solutions to meet the needs of their clients," stated Eyal Tuchman, Chief Executive Officer of Vuance. "We're proud to be working with Silent Partner Technologies, whose innovative thinking enabled them to install a cost-effective solution which owners of multiple facilities, like the French Art Network's galleries, can use to monitor and secure valuable possessions using a synchronized web-portal. We expect this project will lead to other interesting RFID applications for Silent Partner Technologies and AAID."
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