Oh RFID, you are a tantalizing prospect. For years the event industry has been falling over themselves to utilise RFID, with the principal hurdle basically becoming the price. Till animal microchip transponder scanner , RFID wristbands, accompanying event access handle systems and hardware have just been also pricey to consider.
This is starting to alter. Fees have plummeted thanks to a lot more streamlined manufacturing processes for the chips/inlays themselves, but most importantly, due to the fact developers have come up with cost successful applications through which RFID solutions can run. Added to this the new generation of smartphones (with the Samsung Galaxy 3 top the way) which are NFC-enabled, and this leads to a complete new predicament where events can realistically begin to take into account RFID as a viable answer.
This all sounds wonderful, but is RFID definitely the future of occasion identification?
Very first, some basics
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Used inside the logistics market to track stock, each and every RFID chip has a special ID quantity that can be assigned, in the occasion world, to an individual patron (by way of a non transferrable wristband) and, in theory, let an event organiser to track the activities of that patron.
NFC refers to Close to Field Communications. Within the event environment, an NFC enabled telephone can truly encode AND scan an RFID wristband, as a result removing the need to have for high-priced hardware and dedicated RFID scanners that can’t be used for anything else.
Why RFID is the way to go
1. It is cool
Seriously, it is. You scan it, it remembers you, it can link to systems that does points like enter you in competitions, give you a discount on your subsequent drink, updates your Facebook status. It signifies much easier access at events, potentially cashless transactions. Persons like wireless technologies – bluetooth, web, 3G, 4G, we can’t get adequate of being ‘unplugged’ and ‘free’.
2. Effortless access control
Occasion organisers can take the ‘human’ element out of gate control and access, and I imply that in a great way. Security personnel make blunders. They may not notice a replica wristband. Bar employees make blunders. They may well give incorrect modify. RFID requires this off the table.
3. Safety in general
It’s hard to copy an RFID wristband. In contrast to other wristbands exactly where forgeries are probable (with the difficulty in achieving this topic to the variety of wristband utilised), RFID is tough to copy.
4. Cashless transactions
Just as Visa Paywave and comparable technologies are proving to be popular, the chance to run a fully cashless event is an attractive proposition to each patrons and organisers. For patrons this can mean significantly less danger of theft, less items to worry about, whilst for event organisers it can imply improved spending – we all spend much more when our transactions are significantly less tangible i.e. swiping cards rather than paying cash.
5. Social media integration
Now this is where RFID truly opens up possibilities, and is where some of the most exciting utilizes could lie. At a University Open Day to be held at an Australian University in August 2012, guests will be photographed, have their wristband scanned and the photo will automatically load to the University Facebook web page, tagging those in the photo. This offers great exposure for the University as mates of these at the occasion will also see imagery from the event in real time.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ – the vast majority of social media applications can be integrated with RFID systems to raise exposure.
Sponsors can also be involved, and this is explained under.
six. Sponsors adore it = prospective income for the festival/occasion
At 1 recent festival, a automobile manufacturer sponsored a scanning station exactly where patrons could scan their wristbands to enter the draw for a new car or truck. The manufacturer is satisfied for the reason that they have collected personal information for 10,000 possible consumers, and the patrons are content for the reason that they have entered a prize draw promptly and effortlessly, with no challenging sell.
Sponsors can integrate their message with social media also – scan here to ‘like’ item A, scan right here to have a photo of you drinking solution B. Once again, the exposure is exponential simply because these status updates seem on the patrons profile, hence acquiring the attention of hundreds or thousands of more prospects.
For the organiser, these opportunities for sponsors can be sold as aspect of a sponsorship package, along with possessing a logo on the wristbands.
Why RFID is not the way to go
1. Patron backlash, otherwise known as “you never handle me, massive brother!”
There has been considerable backlash to RFID used at festivals. Whilst a lot of patrons are fine with the idea, there is a distinct group who are quite a great deal against the concept of extra information getting extracted from them and of festivals scanning them at gates and other entry points. They really feel that this distracts from the ‘free spirit’ of lots of festivals and smacks of commercialism.