Bicycle usage is up around the world – and with increased amounts of bikes come increased instances of bike thefts. Copenhagen residents alone had 20,000 bicycles stolen last year. Three initiatives from around the globe are aiming to combat and prevent bike theft using RFID (radio frequency ID) tags.

The University of Portsmouth in the UK has begun embedding RFID tags on bikes registered in their WASP (Wireless Asset Security Protection) program. Students can park their bikes in designated safe zones and register their position via mobile phone. If their bike is moved without calling and entering a pin code, cctv cameras will zoom in on the area to see if anything is amiss. Oregon State University takes a similar approach, “bugging” participating student’s bikes with RFID tags. It’s used mostly as a bike recovery and theft deterrent method and the bugs are free to OSU students. And finally, the city of Copenhagen is working with the Danish Technical Institute to create a better chip to help locate some of the city’s many stolen bikes.

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