A ‘digital seal’ for a wide range of products: Smartrac introduces Circus Tamper Loop tags

RFID and IoT solutions provider, Smartrac has announced its new Circus Tamper Loop tags specifically designed for tamper detection and authentication via NFC-enabled smartphones.

Targeting a wide array of applications for packaged goods in consumer and industrial markets, Circus Tamper Loop opens the door to entirely new, NFC-based consumer experience solutions featuring higher security and additional consumer engagement at the point of sale and post-sale.

Proven Circus features with the addition of a “digital seal”

Circus Tamper Loop tags are based on the well-established Smartrac Circus product family. While retaining Circus’ basic small form factors, the new tags come with a tamper-loop extension to the established antenna design. This loop enables advanced “digital seal” functionality for smart packaging and brand protection. The design of the loop can be customised to suit individual customer requirements, and can be adapted to fit a wide variety of packaging formats — from boxes to blister packs to bottles.

The loop exhibits one of two visible conditions: a closed loop shows that the packaging is sealed, while an open loop indicates an open package. When the customer opens the sealed package, the loop is physically broken. The tamper detection status can be checked at the tap of a smartphone via a programmed on-chip URL or via an app.

This digital seal functionality shows whether the product has been tampered with, above and beyond the evidence of any visual inspection. This offers higher security and improved counterfeiting protection.

Best prerequisites for enhanced customer experiences

Products can be authenticated at any stage in the supply chain by verifying their digital identity. Moreover, even in the case of an open loop, the Circus Tamper Loop can be read with a smartphone to display a customer experience specific to an opened package. At any time, it can be exploited for further customer activities like vouchers, product services, access to dedicated social media channels and much more.

Circus Tamper Loop is available with NXP’s NTAG 213 TT chip. The new variant of the proven NTAG 213 IC offers tamper detection with once-opened status, plus NXP original signature with an option of a brand-unique signature.

The chip features 144 bytes of user memory, and comes with a unique ID (UID) mirror functionality. This enables the chip serial number to be ‘mirrored’ as part of its encoded URL address, which makes each single chip uniquely identifiable when a smartphone taps the tag and is forwarded to the encoded URL link.

This mirroring feature also includes an NFC tap counter. The counter increases each time a user interacts with the tag, which allows every tag access to be seen and read as unique from an application perspective, without encoding serial numbers. With both features enabled, customer backend systems can validate whether a user actually tapped the tag, or whether the URL was selected from a browser’s history. This enables certain applications to manage access to specific content in a selective way based on UIDs.

Tamper detection and authentication at the tap of a smartphone

“Our new Circus Tamper Loop tags enable tamper detection and authentication at the tap of a smartphone for a wide range of products – whether it’s highly effective pharmaceuticals, top-grade cosmetics, high-performance brake pads, vintage wines or Beluga caviar.

We are sure that the market has been waiting for this innovative product, which perfectly complements Smartrac’s existing track-and-trace and authentication solutions”, says Dirk Boltersdorf, head of Product Management Inlays & Tags at Smartrac.

Circus Tamper Loop is available in wet and paper-tag delivery formats. Smartrac will showcase the new NFC tags at the upcoming tradeshow NRF Retail’s Big Show in New York, January 14-16, 2018 at booth # 1675.

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