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BCS National Championship Fans Use RFID to 'Kinect' to Social Networks

The Kinect-based game tests participants' ability to throw, dodge and run like a pro football player, and utilizes radio frequency identification to share the results with friends on Facebook or Twitter.
By Claire Swedberg
With RFID technology, however, the players were able to share their results with friends and family members. A participant could share details, such as his or her score, or simply the statement that he or she had "completed a challenge" at the event.


Team Epic's Doug Lowry
This year, upon arriving at the Louisiana Superdome, in New Orleans—where the BCS National Championship was held on Jan. 9—each spectator first registered, providing his or name and Facebook or Twitter account name, as well as any personal details that individual wanted to share, such as the team he or she supported. That data was stored and linked to that person's unique ID number on a plastic wristband with a built-in NXP Semiconductors Mifare 1 kilobyte 13.56 MHz RFID chip, complying with the ISO 14443 standard, provided by the event staff at the ticket office. Participants wearing the wristbands could then go to one of six interactive games, known collectively as the AT&T Combine Challenge, and present the bracelet within a few inches of an HID Global Omnikey 5321 reader, provided by Fish Technology, to check in to their Facebook or Twitter account. The reader captured the wristband's ID number and forwarded that data to Brightline Interactive software, which linked that ID with the user's name and social-network details. The game screen would then greet each participant by name, indicating when it was that person's turn to play. As he or she played one of the games, the interactive game system tracked that individual's score and then displayed the result on screen, while also offering that player the choice of also posting the results on Facebook or Twitter. If the participant selected yes, the system would send the data via the Internet to the proper social-media site.

"Overall, we have been very pleased with both Brightline's development and creative teams, and we hope to continue bringing new and cutting-edge technology to our onsite activations," Lowry states.

"We are integrating RFID now into a lot of what we're doing," says Erik Muendel, Brightline Interactive's CEO and creative director. "We focus on the screen," he explains, which provides digital display and interactive gaming options to players. "But we find RFID is a gateway to get the message out to the public." Individuals could sign onto a Web-based system by providing their Facebook or other networking information when playing a game, which would not require RFID. However, he says, "That's a little clunky. RFID streamlines it."

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