Badges Get Smarter

New name tags improve security and more

With security at meetings becoming an increasingly important priority, a number of new technological innovations are being developed to help keep unwanted visitors out of meeting rooms.
   " One pricey option is Radio Frequency Identification, which gathers information from a microchip imbedded in the name badge and allows entry without the need to swipe. Skip Heymann, owner of New York City-based Heymann Management International, LLC, an event management firm, says RFID already is being used by corporate security departments. Cost: about $10,000 for a midsize trade show.
   " Less expensive is the nTAG (, an electronic badge that uses RFID to monitor attendance, do paperless polling, instant messaging and a bevy of team-building activities. It can even transmit data, such as mutual areas of interest, back and forth between wearers. “It does what a really great host would do,” says George Eberstadt, co-founder of nTAG, based in New York City. Cost: between $40 and $100 per attendee.
   " Low on tech but high on affordability is TEMPbadge Plus ( Two stickers are bonded together and affixed to the name tag. After an allotted period of time, they change color, making it easier for security to spot expired badges. Cost: As little as $43 per thousand