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Guest Post for Provent Technologies by technologist Mel Brandys -
EAS versus the Evil Eye of the Shopkeeper
Just as my children don't know what a rotary phone is, they accept a world that constantly beeps at them. They have been conditioned to the beep, starting with those lovely baby gifts that squeak and beep, to cell phones, school buzzers, alarms, you name it – it beeps these days. When did it start? Certainly alerting others has been around since the beginning of animal kind, whether it's a dog barking or alarm beeping. And now it's just expected everywhere we go.
I don't remember store alarms or even security guards when I was kid. I remember the "evil eye" of the shop keeper who kept a close watch on us kids, especially in the candy section. The local drug store had the best chocolate bars, so naturally that’s where we went as kids. The store owner was the typical friendly store owner, but he watched us like a hawk. I don't think much went amiss there. We also knew that he would find our parents if there was trouble, as it was the only place in walking distance. Was that really a deterrent? I wonder if it's the fact that communities knew each other and kept them honest, or were they just different times. Or is it that everyone is so much in a hurry nowadays that they don't take the time to get to know people. I'm not going to blame "devices" as the increase in security measures happened long before the device invasion.
Today, a store employee isn't going to stop a child and the "evil eye" would probably land the employee in trouble these days. I can only imagine the scene, "Mom, that person looked at me funny!" - how fast can you say "HR incident". So we have alarms and other deterrents. Kids, like adults have been conditioned to the beep. Hopefully the honest ones will stop and find out why the alarm went off.
I'm afraid the beep is here to stay, so we might just be able to make it a little more interesting by making our EAS systems more capable. I was happy to see the newly released Flashgate Clarity had sound and light alarms. Just maybe, the change of colour on the Clarity Gate might make someone pause a second longer and decide not to take that item.