Thursday, 10 May, 2007 Technology

New Technology to Prevent DVD Theft


DVDs are soon to be protected by a new technology that aims towards preventing theft. The DVD disks are unplayable until the cash register activates them. The new technology represents a small chip (smaller than a pin's head) which is placed onto the disc together with a thin coating. The latter blocks a DVD player, not allowing it to read the necessary information stored on the disk.

The register activates the chip sending an electrical pulse through the coating. Thus it turns it clear and allows the DVD player to run the disk.

The new technology comes from two companies: NXP Semiconductors, located in the Netherlands and Kestrel Wireless Inc., with its headquarters in Emeryville. The former developed the radio frequency identification chip and the latter developed the Radio Frequency Activation technology.

Both companies are currently looking forward to make deals with several Hollywood studios. The Chief Executive at Kestrel Wireless, Paul Atkinson, mentioned that some deals are to be announced this summer.

It is worth mentioning that the retail theft of video games, along with other entertainment products, is estimated at $400 million each year. This data was provided by the Entertainment Merchants Association. The majority of retailers today keep their products behind glass cases, which, however inhibits browsing.

Mark Fisher, who works as a vice president for strategic initiatives at EMA, outlined that by using the new technology, retailers will be free to display their consumer-entertainment products openly, which will undoubtedly lead to sales increase.

"It will also get product into a lot more outlets that are afraid of theft, including grocers," he mentioned.

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