RFID Pairs Action Photos With Mountain Bikers
Several resorts are using a wireless solar-powered system that can automatically take action shots, enabling visitors to view and purchase images of themselves online.
The Rifidi middleware interpreted the read data, and Sniper's own software matched the ID number with a picture, and then transmitted the photo with that ID to Sniper's server via a GPRS connection. By using the middleware, Sniper did not have to write any software that would directly interact with the reader, but instead simply received the necessary tag and reader information from that middleware. If there was no RFID read data to match with a photo, indicating that the picture was taken of someone not carrying an RFID tag, the system discarded it.
Upon leaving the park, an RFID-tagged biker could visit Sniper Action Photo's Web site and input the ID number printed on his or her tag (the same number encoded to its RFID chip) in order to view all pictures taken of that individual. The biker was then invited to purchase a single shot or a package of photos.
If two people passed the reader and camera together, both riders' tags were interrogated and linked to the same photo uploaded to the server. On average, Grimsdell estimated, bikers going down the course six times might have more than 20 photos awaiting them by the end of the day.
The pilot—which took place during the summer months of 2012—was a success, Grimsdell says, and the company is now also providing the solution to two other parks, as well as Silver Star: SkyTrek Adventure Park and Oyama ZipLine. The latter two parks are not yet utilizing RFID technology, because they are initially installing a single camera station, and the quantity of pictures generated on a daily basis is expected to be too small to require the use of radio frequency identification. If the parks opt to expand their use of the system by installing cameras at additional locations within their premises, however, then they will use RFID to pair pictures with individuals. Determining the best reader, antenna and power source for the solution required some experimenting, says Ryan Johnson, Sniper Action Photo's technology lead. The company's team experimented with antennas and their orientation to obtain a very precise read as each bike approached the camera. They employed a Mobile Mark 10.5 DBI antenna, says Hal Charych, Mountain Pass Systems' CEO, in order to ensure that the read was isolated to a very small area.
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