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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.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
In addition, RFlogy installed small RFID reader modules in each of Thalen & Thales' 100 lockers. To use one, a member approaches a locker with an ajar door, fills it with belongings, then closes the door and presents the card to the locker's interrogator. The reader stores the inlay's ID number in its memory and triggers the door's mechanical lock to engage.

Upon later returning to the locker, the member once more presents the card to the reader, which compares the ID to that stored in its memory. If there is a match, the door unlocks. The next time the locker is closed and locked, the reader overwrites the ID stored in its memory with that of the newly presented card, thereby ensuring it will only open for the member using the locker at that particular time.

Moreover, the club also offers its members the ability to utilize the RFID cards to manage workouts. A member first sets up an online account, including a login and password, on the club's Web site. The RFlogy software links that person's online account to the card's ID. Once the online profile is established, that member can select or set up a workout regime on the Web site. Later, at the club, he or she can present the card to a reader, attached to a computer monitor and installed near workout machinery, to call up that day's predetermined workout routine. Thus, the member need not print out and carry around a hard copy of the schedule.

According to Yanas, the readers in the turnstiles, sales terminals and workout areas are networked together using the RFlogy software, which the vendor wrote utilizing the C Sharp programming language and SQL databases. This enables club managers to track the number of members entering the club at any particular time, and also to gain a sense for how often the cards are employed for purchases and for tracking workouts. The readers in the lockers, however, are offline.

A second health club, GalaSpor, is currently in the process of deploying the GymLogy system as well, Yanas says. The club plans to deploy all elements of the system except for the RFID-enabled locker.

RFlogy is also working on a number of other projects that Yanas says he hopes to announce soon. These are outside of the health-club sector, however, and involve not just passive but also active RFID tags.

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