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RFID Helps Turkish Gym-Goers Get Fit
Exercise enthusiasts use passive 13.56 MHz RFID-enabled cards not only to gain entrance to their health clubs, purchase food and gear, and secure their lockers, but also to track workouts.
Oct 17, 2008—RFlogy, a startup RFID integration firm based in Turkey, has developed a comprehensive system designed for health clubs. Club members can use the system, known as GymLogy, to gain entrance, make purchases within the facility, secure lockers and track workouts. "We knew what RFID was capable of, and just started to think about it and develop a complete system," says Altug Yanas, RFlogy's business development manager.
To date, two health clubs in Turkey are implementing the solution. The Thalen & Thales Sports club deployed the system two months ago, and has issued new high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz passive RFID-enabled cards to its 1,000 members.
In the past, the facility issued low-frequency (LF) passive RFID-based member ID cards, but they had limited usability—the LF cards contained a passive inlay that could store only enough data to contain a unique ID. Members held the card up to locked turnstiles at the club entrance. An interrogator inside each turnstile transmitted the card's encoded serial number to a database, which would trigger the turnstile to open and allow a member to enter if the account linked to that serial number was in good standing.
At present, this step is exactly the same for members. But embedded in the new cards is a high-frequency RFID inlay containing a different type of integrated circuit—NXP's Mifare Ultralight—capable of storing up to 512 bits of data. RFlogy had to replace the turnstile readers to be able to interrogate these new cards.
The company also installed Mifare card readers at sales terminals within the club's café and equipment shop. Members can load value to their account, then pay for goods or food in the club by holding their member cards up to one of the readers. The interrogator forwards the card ID to RFlogy software, which links the account database to the point-of-sale (POS) system. To process a debit transaction, the software deducts the purchase amount from the value stored on the account, then sends a message to the POS system that the transaction is complete.
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