Sigfox, FP, Philip Morris develop smart tag to fight cigarette theft
Sigfox said that the smart tag is now being deployed to 600 tobacco retailers in the Bouches-du-Rhône area with a national rollout planned at a later stage
French IoT specialist Sigfox, together with Follower Product (FP) and Philip Morris France, unveiled what it claims is the first smart tag to fight cigarette theft and smuggling in France.
The new smart tag, which was approved in June 2018 by the Ministry of the Interior after six months of testing, is now being deployed to 600 tobacco retailers in the Bouches-du-Rhône area, with a national rollout planned for a later point.
In France, crime related to tobacco trafficking has been growing steadily over the last years, Sigfox said. The Calumet tag was designed by FP in collaboration with law enforcement and help from Philip Morris France and is connected to the Sigfox IoT network. Its goal is “to respond to the problems of insecurity and theft in the tobacco industry,” Sigfox said.
FP, Philip Morris France and Sigfox began experimental testing of the Calumet smart tag with 18 volunteer retailers in the Bouches-du-Rhone in September 2017. The tag was integrated in cartons of dummy cigarettes and delivered to the retailers with their usual orders. During these six months of tests, four events were recorded and sent in the form of alerts by the tag to the police, including two thefts and one attempted theft. The tag was also able to detect vibrations related to a fire in a tobacco store, allowing firefighters to intervene.
“The Calumet project story illustrates the almost infinite range of uses and applications offered by the internet of things. Originally, we had developed the tag to help people with visual impairments to move around the city, we never imagined that it could respond to major security issues,” said Florence Poulet, president of FP. “Thanks to the tag and the support of Philip Morris France, coupled with Sigfox technology, we enable hundreds of tobacco retailers to feel safer and reduce their financial losses.”
“Supporting cutting edge technology projects like Calumet seems particularly important to us,” said Daniel Bruquel, head of preventing illicit trade at Philip Morris France. “Crime around tobacco continues to grow in France and impacts the entire industry with retailers as first targets. We are delighted with this innovation which gives them an effective way to better protect themselves and to fight against the development of an alternative market whatever its form.”
“The safety of goods and people is a major issue for Sigfox. The Calumet tag responds to specific issues of insecurity, but the use of this technology can be extended to an infinite number of sectors and industries, such as logistics, luxury goods or even to respond to other security concerns,” said Patrick Cason, GM at Sigfox France. “Sigfox network enables fast and simple deployments at very low costs and very low energy consumption. These are the three conditions necessary for the massive adoption of IoT,” he added.