Utilizing RFID technology to defuse the threat of theft isn't a fresh idea, but NXP Semiconductors and Kestrel Wireless are looking to make good on the premise by cranking out an anti-theft solution that just might appear on the next DVD you buy. By combining NXP's RFID technology with Kestral's RFA (radio frequency activation), manufacturers could install a minuscule chip on the optical media at the beginning of the supply chain which would render it unplayable, but having it scanned at a checkout counter would enable a series of authentication checks to occur and eventually unlock the media for playback. While the scenario may sound convoluted, it could allow manufacturers to skimp on bulky, restrictive packaging, and moreover, it could be applied to other items in the consumer electronics universe in order to deter thieves from trying to swipe expensive handheld gizmos. Of course, we can already envision the complaints that are sure to arise from legitimate buyers bringing home a coaster if the activation process happens to fail, but apparently, both companies are already hard at work persuading studios to write 'em a check and get these things into stores.

[Via Physorg]

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RFID / RFA anti-theft technology could hit optical media