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New hi-tech weapon in fight with theft

DATADOT Technology Limited plans to continue making headlines in the domestic market following the announcement last week of a venture with Automotive Holdings Group.

AHG launched a new West Perth facility, a first for Australia, which will provide car owners with access to technology developed to deter professional car theft rackets.

The datadots are tiny, high-grade polyester discs, which have a vehicle’s registration number engraved on them. About 10,000 datadots are sprayed onto the vehicle with adhesive, with identification through the use of UV light.

The huge number of dots makes it virtually impossible for professional car thieves to erase all of them. The dots also make identification of stolen vehicles easier for police.

The technology could have a major spin-off for insurance premiums. AHG already offers a discount to its customers and, with the technology applicable to domestic items, it could reduce home and contents insurance, according to Datadot Technology Limited executive chairman Ian Allen.

“I’m talking to one company that is thinking of wiping all excesses off any policy if the person has the dots on the product, and it may make putting the dots on compulsory to those in high crime areas,” he said.

Mr Allen discovered the technology from a videotaped US broadcast about police using the technology in investigations.

“I liked the whole concept and had already wanted to put together an identification system,” he said.

“I flew over and met the gentleman who owned the technology in Washington ... I bought the company and brought him in as a partner with a 50 per cent share to look after the manufacturing and technology.”

At that early stage of development the dots could only be brushed on to an item, so Mr Allen went to work developing a way to make the dots stick.

The adhesive he has developed is a water-based product that does not have a strong odour, making it the perfect identifier for personal property, from boats to TVs.

“A company called Miritone has developed the adhesive, which is water based because we needed one that would stand a lot of tampering. Being water based, it’s better for the environment,” Mr Allen said.

“What we’re doing now on the back of the motor campaign is to relaunch the domestic market.

“We’re going to put drivers licence numbers on the dots so there is no secondary database.

“So if the police find the driver’s licence number, they know who it belongs to straight away.”

He said the service facility in West Perth would have mobile vans that could add the datadots to personal items.

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