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RFID Makes a Splash at Water Park
An RFID locating system gives parents visiting Dolly's Splash Country piece of mind, because kids are always tracked. It also gives the park the opportunity to increase revenues by adding services, like cashless payments.
SafeTzone has been using TI's low-frequency 134 KHz transponder. The short read range prevents the reader in the kiosk from identifying a person standing nearby. This year, SafeTzone is switching to TI's 13.56 MHz transponder, which is ISO 15693-compliant, for some installations. "The advantage is, if the park is already using 13.56 MHz for something, we can leverage off that," says SafeTzone CTO Marty Crowley. "Or the parks can leverage off of what we install and take advantage of the economy of scale."
That, of course, is a key attraction of RFID technology: Once you install the platform, you can use it for other applications. SafeTzone has a data-management module that enables parks to record and study the buying habits and activities of visitors, so the parks can offer customer loyalty programs, or incentives for underutilized games or attractions. A park could, for instance, create an awards program to lure guests back more often.
Some parks are even integrating RFID into the attractions. Stone Mountain amusement park in Atlanta, Ga., is using RFID wristbands in its Great Barn, a replica of an 1870's-style barn. The tags identify participants in games and record the number of points each person has scored (see Amusement Parks Adopting RFID).
Precision Dynamics Corp. supplied wristbands for "floating lockers" at Six Flags Over Georgia. Guests don't have to be tied to a locker in one area of the park. They can move from locker to locker using information stored in the RFID chip in their wristband. Parks that have a lot of international visitors, could use the RFID tag to identify the language each guest speaks. The park could then create interactive signs that display information in the language of the person standing near the sign.
These opportunities are only just emerging. But Dolly's Splash Country's Scherer is high on the technology. "I've been in the amusement park business for 16 years," he says. "I was a bit cynical about this system being able to provide what they says it provides, but it does. I can't imagine life without it."
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