Security Dots See Little Sales
Tracking Technology Not a Hit with SF State Students
January 31, 2007 6:05 PM
While laptop and iPod theft dominate crime reports on and around campus, sales of a product designed to recover valuable items and deter thieves are flat.
Kits contain 500 DataDots, enough to tag up to ten personal items with the owner's contact information. They don't stand out the way etching contact information can. Also, compared to radio frequency transmitter chips or GPS devices it’s less expensive and does not interfere with electronic signals.
The dots are applied within a clear adhesive to the surface of assets like a computer, cell phone, mp3 players, stereos or even a bicycle.
Daniel Johnson, a Help Desk consultant in the school's Instructional Technology Department said the product is useful and ideal.
"You could spray it at several spots, maybe even inside the device," said Johnson, a senior biology major. "It could work, assuming that the machines are recovered and the law enforcement knows how to check them,” Johnson said.
Police use a 50X magnifier to identify the dots, then search the database and return the property.
Johnson echoed a common complaint: the product seems to only help if an item is recovered and many ask: “how often does that happen?”
In Washington state, where DataDot Technology USA is based, "millions of dollars in assets" are found but never returned because thieves wipe out a computer's internal memory and scratch off serial numbers, said Scott McKeever, the company’s program Development Director.
"The police get pretty frustrated when they do bust a thief and they find stolen goods but they can't return them to their rightful owners," McKeever said.
Security is an issue that Residential Advisors, such as Jazz Vassar of the Fast Track Community Hall's second floor, talk about at meetings with resident freshmen. But watchfulness is more often recommended than DataDots.
Vassar said she informed incoming students about security precautions.
"Oh yeah (theft) happens. Most of the time, it will be someone who invited a friend and they may try to steal something," she said.
Vassar herself had a laptop and stereo system stolen from her car last semester but has yet to buy a can of DataDots, which are transparently glued to the external surfaces, for her new computer.
Anuj Chatterjee, a coordinator in the bookstore's computer section, said the initial order of 100 cans made prior to the Fall semester have yet to sell out. “Concerned mothers get their kids to buy them for their laptops. (The company) put out flyers in the dorms,” he said.
Vassar and other residents said they realize thefts happen and as long as they keep their doors locked and don't stray from valuable electronics in public spaces there is little need in purchasing additional security.
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University