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Baltimore Concert Venues to Try Reusable RFID Wristbands Instead of Tickets
MissionTix is providing wristbands with built-in RFID tags that venue operators can read via an Android-based NFC-enabled smartphone and a cloud-based software application.
May 09, 2012—Starting in June, concert goers at two Baltimore music venues will have the option of purchasing reusable RFID-enabled wristbands instead of tickets. The system enables concert promoters to validate tickets electronically using a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled phone—Google's Samsung Galaxy Nexus—and an application loaded onto the phone that accesses a cloud-based server, on which is stored information regarding the tickets.
The service is being marketed by MissionTix, a Baltimore ticketing service that is employing NFC wristbands, the codeREADr application and hosted back-end software provided by Boston media content company Skycore. Although NFC-enabled ticketing for concerts and festivals is not a new concept, MissionTix' version features a reusable silicon wristband that a consumer could load and reload with tickets for participating venues. Therefore, individuals attending concerts at one location could have the tickets validated there, and then use the same wristbands at another place and time. MissionTix envisions the solution being utilized not only for concerts, but eventually by merchants, enabling users to load a prepaid account and use the wristband to pay for purchases.
Initially, the wristbands will be used for concerts at two Baltimore-area sites: the Recher Theatre and the Ottobar. The wristbands can be ordered online, directly from MissionTix, as the tickets are being purchased, or consumers can buy them at the Sound Garden, a record store also located in Baltimore.
For several years, both Skycore and MissionTix had been working in parallel to introduce NFC ticketing. Skycore, established in 2003, provides global content with a focus on multimedia and transactional messaging. The company offers content for ticketing, including QR codes that could be scanned as ticket holders arrived at a site. However, concert promoters sought ways in which to validate the tickets, which required a connection to a server on which ticket ID numbers were stored. The firm began looking into NFC RFID technology, says Rich Eicher Sr., Skycore's president, in order to determine how such technology could enable quick transactions between ticket holders and staff members stationed at the gates of concerts and other events.
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