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RFID Helps Call of Duty Video Game Come Alive

During an event celebrating the newest installment in Activision's warfare-simulation series, attendees wore RFID bracelets that facilitated real-life replicas of two gaming levels.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Once inside the gaming area, players checked into each arena by holding their wristbands up to readers mounted into cases, which SSN dubbed "Cubes." In the first gaming arena—the Pit—attendees competed in a timed obstacle course with a paintball gun, shooting at pneumatic pop-up targets. The second arena, known as the Scrapyard, was the site of a multiplayer paintball battle between two teams, each comprising 16 players. By presenting their wristbands to the Cubes, gamers updated the software with the their locations and scores, and a camera would capture the check-in. Cameras mounted throughout the gaming area would also snap photographs of the players, and then associate those photos with the participants currently checked into that section of the game. These images were then uploaded to the player's Facebook pages, along with that person's scores.

In addition, this information was shared with the crowds at the event, via digital leader boards. At the end of the game, every ticket purchaser received a gift bag containing a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The real-time data reporting allowed additional staffing and terminals to be added at a moment's notice, in order to help reduce wait times for those waiting to receive a gift bag. In addition to speeding up the redemption process, the RFID database also prevented fraud and multiple redemption attempts, since each player's wristband tag was read upon that player's receipt of a gift band.

At the Pit, players logged in by presenting their RFID bracelets to an SSN Cube reader.

SSN designed and built interrogators and antennas into the security gate and Cube form factors, using high-frequency (HF) RFID readers produced by a number of manufacturers, including GAO RFID.

All ticket proceeds were provided to The Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit public-benefit corporation that helps U.S. soldiers transition to civilian careers after completing their military service.

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