RFID Technologies RFID Technologies CC

Notetrack(tm) system for monitoring movement of notebook/laptop computers from premises

A hardware and software system for managing the passage of notebook/laptop computers past an access point in a Small Business.

Laptop and notebook computers are expensive items, often containing important confidential data. They are often stolen from business premises as they are easy to disconnect from their environment and easy to hide. Some businesses require many staff to take their laptops out of the office regularly for the execution of their duties.

This system will allow the passage of notebook computers past a security point provided that the carrier of the computer has a matching ID card which has been linked to that computer in a database. Non-matching IDs or computers that are not associated to a personal ID card will cause an alarm to be shown at the security checkpoint.

The system comprises of transponder tags for attaching securely to the laptops, ID cards that are carried by the users, a long range fixed UHF RFID reader for monitoring the access point, a software package running on a computer at the guard station, and a software package running on a database administrator's personal computer.

The system uses the long range capabilities of the reader and the transponders to allow identities of items to be read at a distance. This means that when a laptop computer and an ID on a person get within up to 5 meters of the access point, the ID cards can be read by the long range reader and passed onto the computer software for processing.

Transponders for laptops
Notebook tag Recently RFID Technologies CC have introduced a new transponder that is specially designed to be attached to laptop and notebook computers. These transponders work in all orientations of the computer and will be detected by a Trolleyponder fixed reader at distances between 13 meter and 5 meters. Since the system works on radio principles, it will be detected even if it is inside a briefcase or laptop carrying bag.

With this technology, the passage of the computer can be detected when it passes any reader station, which will usually be situated at the access points to the building.

Because computer systems have very high clock frequencies which generate radio interference for other users, they are shielded from the outside world by being placed in cases that contain their radio energy. This case stops any radio signals passing into the laptop or leaving the inside of the laptop. As a result, the RFID tag needs to be mounted on the outside of the laptop to interact with local readers via radio signals.

The RFID Technologies CC RFID transponder is a rubber based tag that is glued onto the outside of the computer case. The tag can be attached anywhere to the outside of the computer case. It will be detected when it passes the reader even if it is screened from direct radio path with the reader by the computer itself. The rubber tag has a high resistance to chemicals and solvents. The glue is very strong and will prevent the tag being removed. It is a passive tag with a very long expected lifetime.

Transponders for people
Personal tag The system operates by matching the signal from a transponder on a laptop computer to a transponder on the person who is authorised to move that computer past the checkpoint. The transponders for the people are credit card sized and can be carried in a pocket or out of sight. Due to their low power characteristics, they can be read up to 13 meters away from the reader.

The transponders are passive (do not have a battery) and have a lifetime of more than ten years.

Features of the reader
Reader system The reader is a UHF RFID fixed reader that can provide a low power energising field to energise the transponders and that can read their identities. The reader has two antennas that are mounted side by side, each antenna being the size approximately of an A4 piece of paper. The reader is connected to the guard point computer used for the software via a RS232 cable.

Asset monitoring software
The software is supplied in two packages, one package to run on an administrators computer to maintain and update databases of users and notebooks, and the other to run on each of the guard point computers. The asset monitoring software runs on a Win 32 computer with operating systems such as Win98SE, Win XP or Win Vista.

The software has a database of notebooks, a database of users, and a database that links the users to the notebooks. When receiving ID codes from the reader, the software in the guard point computer checks that any code from a notebook computer has the matching code from the user within a preset time, as detailed in the linking database. Should this match be present, the passage of the notebook and the user is recorded in a log file. Should no match occur within the predefined time, an alarm condition is displayed on the guard point computer and details of the notebook computer are displayed as well as the details of the registered user and their contact details are shown. Many notebooks can be linked to a single authorised user, and many users can be linked to a single notebook.

The Notetrack management program is a customised program that allows the user to set up the system for all measurements via drop down menus. The system generates reports that can be viewed and printed from any WWW browser to provide a paper trail.

All databases are stored in common type formats, letting programs like Excel spreadsheets import/export the master database for massaging and data capture should that be necessary.

Sample screen Sample screen
The package
The Notetrack Management system is sold as a package of hardware and software to solve the application. The client needs to supply the computer that will be used at the guard point. This system needs to have Win98SE/Win XP or Win Vista for an operating system. The administrator section of the software can be run on any existing computer.

The package comprises
OneUHF RFID Technologies fixed reader
FiftyEcochip tags for attaching to use by users
Fifty     Notebook tags for attaching to notebook computers
OneGuard point software package
OneAdministrator software package

Additional transponders and readers can be bought as needed.

The transponders are compatible with the RFIDasset management system which is used to track company's assets within a building to keep up to date databases of where the assets currently are situated and when they were last seen.

The system can be purchased from RFID Technologies at www.rf-id-systems.com

Notetrack(tm) is the trademark of RFID Technologies CC

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