Musicians’ network aims to clamp down on instrument thefts

Anipo, a French-based network of musicians, has launched an initiative aimed at cracking down on stolen instruments.

A violin in its case. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Anipo encourages musicians to install a chip on their instruments and bows so that if they are stolen they can be tracked. The chip is linked to a person’s mobile phone and provide GPS information so that the instrument can be easily located.

The chip also contains a unique identifier so that each instrument can be recognised. This means that an instrument maker or musician seeking to buy an instrument can check to see if it has been previously stolen by scanning the chip using an app on their phone.

Anipo’s initiative is relatively easy to join. The app can be downloaded to your smartphone and the chip purchased for a small cost. You can then enter a message into the app which will be sent to the person who scans the instrument in the event it is stolen.

When a stolen instrument is scanned, the person who has done so will be sent the contact details of the rightful owner. The former owner will receive notification of the location of the instrument via the Anipo app.

The network hopes that the chips could be used in the future to trace instruments at borders and customs checks, making it harder to transport stolen instruments.

Find out more at the Anipo website.

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