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RFID Greets Partygoers By Name

Montreal's Apollo Agency is using EPC Gen 2 tags to provide guests with personalized greetings to the marketing and networking events that it holds.
By Claire Swedberg
Guests then climbed the stairs to the 4th floor, where each was met with a looping video of Galuppo dancing, pacing and standing around, as though waiting for someone to arrive. A reader positioned next to the video image had a sign attached to it, inviting visitors to place their tag near the device. As each new arrival did so, the tag's ID number was forwarded to the Apollo Agency's back-end software via a cabled connection, using Effecto middleware to interpret that ID, and was linked to the individual's category and name. The video loop then changed to display a personalized message recorded by Galuppo. If the guest was one of the first 100 registrants, Galuppo would greet that person by name, saying something along the lines of, "Nice to see you, Heather." If that person were also a member of the press, she might add, "Don't forget to pick up a media kit."

Galuppo prerecorded each personalized greeting prior to the event, with every greeting linked to a particular welcome card's unique ID number. The categories also included English or French, so that every guest could be greeted in his or her own language. Many attendees, however, did not register until one or two days prior to the party. Those who registered within 48 hours of the function were greeted by one of a series of generic messages prerecorded by Galuppo, so that even late registrants would receive a message upon arrival.

Inside the party room, guests could use their RFID cards to prompt the playing of St. Ange's latest music video.

Once inside the party area, guests could utilize their RFID cards to prompt the playing of St. Ange's latest music video. An Impinj reader was installed at one side of the room, next to a sign indicating that guests should swipe their welcome cards across the Motorola antenna. Each time a person did so, the video began playing on a screen beside the interrogator, and attendees could don headphones in order listen to it.

The system worked well, Sicotte says, though the Apollo Agency learned that the welcome video screen and reader were positioned too closely to the party area, where the music being played made it difficult for guests to hear Galuppo's greetings. In the future, the marketing firm plans to install the video projector and reader on the ground floor, so that guests will be greeted before going upstairs.

In addition to making plans to use the system at the January party, Sicotte says he expects to incorporate RFID in a variety of ways at other functions as well. "I think new technology has to be tamed," he states, "used and tried until we find the best uses. Once we've got the best uses nailed down, we will be using this for all our client events."

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