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RFID Tickets Sped Visitors Through Belgium's F1 Grand Prix

The race organizer used tickets embedded with 13.56 MHz RFID tags and handheld readers to scan tickets as visitors entered the stadium, thereby reducing queues and curtailing fraud.
By Claire Swedberg
The printer's built-in interrogator then read each tag's RFID number, and if a tag did not transmit an ID number, the system sent an alert. At the same time, on RFIDEA's database, the system linked the unique ID number to the type of seating, the recommended parking area (though tickets would not be scanned in the parking lot) and for which of the three dates the ticket was valid. The tickets were then sent to Spa GP in rolls organized in order of the country and geographical region to which the tickets were to be shipped, and Spa GP sent the tickets to the event visitors.

On the day of the event, stadium personnel employed 85 Psion Teklogix Workabout Pro handheld computers with RFID readers to capture each ticket's unique ID number. The handhelds transmitted that information wirelessly to the RFIDEA back-end server, and RFIDEA software enabled the system to access data linked to that ticket, such as the portion of the stadium to which the visitor had access, as well as the ticket date.

If the ticket was approved for the location that the visitor was attempting to enter, the staff saw a green light illuminated on the interrogator, whereas a red light would flash if that individual was unauthorized for that particular location. The handheld readers then wrote data to the ticket, indicating the ticket holder had arrived, thereby making it impossible for that person to use his own ticket to re-enter the stadium, or to reuse tickets for fraudulent pass-back activities.

Detraux, who says he was present at the event, claims crowds moved quickly into the stadium, with less delay. "It was new for most of the people in charge of check-in, but most were quite happy to use it," he says. "It was much easier than checking tickets manually. RFID just brings security and ease."

Next year, he says, RFIDEA and Spa GP are considering upgrading the solution to allow e-payments with the tickets. In that case, a ticket holder could prepay a certain monetary amount and store that value on the RFID tag embedded in the ticket, which could then be used as a contactless debit card to purchase food and beverages at the stadium's concession stands.

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