Retail anti-theft solutions: Resource Integrated’s custom security bracket and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

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A major Canadian telecom was looking to provide an immersive customer experience with the revolutionary Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Here’s how they used Resource Integrated’s proprietary retail solution for secure mobile device merchandising.

The Galaxy Z Flip has a foldable glass display with the ability to hold itself open in any position. For months, the new device had been highly anticipated by tech bloggers and early adopters in the general public. It was Canada’s first wide-distribution smartphone with a foldable screen. Unlike Samsung’s (slightly) earlier Galaxy Fold, this new phone combined a retro style and very high-tech design, folding in half like flip phones of yore.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

On a blustery day late last December, Milan Stojanovic – Project Manager at Resource Integrated Ltd. – sat down with clients and a Samsung representative in a head office boardroom. The representative put down a briefcase and, with some ceremony, opened the latches and lifted out an example of the as-yet-unreleased Samsung Galaxy Z Flip mobile phone. Stojanovic’s job was to make sure the telecom’s retail customers could hold the device in their hands and see how it felt and how it “flipped” – while keeping the device secure from thieves. Due to the highly secretive nature around new device launches, Milan and his team were given only four weeks to conceptualize, prototype and deliver 115 units to make the already announced launch date.

Resource Integrated Ltd. is a full-service retail merchandising and visual solutions provider based in Richmond Hill, Ontario. In 2017, the company began producing custom security brackets so telecom retailers could offer customers hands-on exploration of mobile phones and tablets without compromising security. The company developed, and has continued to refine, a proprietary process which combines analog measurements, 3-d scanning and printing, and hand-made prototyping to quickly and inexpensively manufacture custom brackets to fit the latest devices and models.

RELATED: A BETTER WAY TO STOP MOBILE DEVICE THEFT

In the early days, single cameras and fairly standard designs made the brackets relatively similar from model to model. Today, every new device seems to have yet another camera or sensor or button that must be accessible to the user. Lead time is next to nonexistent; some devices are not generally announced until up to two weeks between announcing the launch date and the actual release of a new device. The team is constantly challenged with designing these units without an actual device in hand. Photos are rarely allowed to be taken, but they are still expected to deliver – and they always do.

Customers needed to hold the Z Flip, use it, and even fold it in half – without compromising security

In the boardroom, Stojanovic and his Resource Integrated colleague Grant Musselman took precise measurements of the phone’s dimensions to within .001 of an inch – carefully noting the locations of the cameras, sensors, SIM cards, buttons, and charging port; and how and where the phone swiveled. (Usually Stojanovic takes one set of measurements, but with the added complexities and the tight timeline, two sets of eyes and Musselman’s production expertise increased the chances of making a better bracket, faster.)

Resource Integrated’s security brackets are produced using proprietary metal bending equipment. The operator generated a mock-up device – made from aluminum – providing a solid, hinged model to work with. Contact-point positioning is always important in Resource Integrated brackets; with the Z Flip, the bracket also needed to fold along with the device – without sacrificing the slim, unobtrusive profile clients demand to showcase sleek designs in merchandising displays.

Mobile phone security prototype

With a combination of careful analysis, experience making thousands of brackets, and a bit of informed guesswork, the manufacturing team delivered a prototype using their own custom tooling.

Normally, the client receives the first prototype of a security bracket within a couple of days. With a few refinements, it’s production-ready. Resource Integrated has delivered finished brackets to top-tier stores in a chain within as little as two weeks.

The Z Flip presented additional challenges, but once the prototype was tested and approved, the team switched to production mode and quickly manufactured the 115 brackets the telecom required. By the Valentine’s Day launch date, its retail stores were armed and ready with their custom Resource Integrated security bracket – each individually packaged and complete with simple installation instructions for store associates.

Retail mobile phone display for Galaxy Z Flip

To date, Resource Integrated has produced more than 30,000 security brackets for North American retailers. And because prototyping and manufacturing takes place right here in North America, they’ve managed to deliver brackets in less time and at a lower cost than those from overseas suppliers.


 

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