RFID-Enhanced Social Media

By Mark Roberti

Attendees at next month's RFID Journal LIVE! conference will learn how companies are employing radio frequency identification to link real-world marketing events to Facebook and other social-media sites, and experience for themselves how the technology works.


Using radio frequency identification to enable people to share real-world experiences with friends via Facebook and other social-media sites is one of the hottest tickets in marketing these days. To that end, we’ve introduced an RFID-Enhanced Social Networking preconference at this year’s RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, being held on Apr. 12-14, 2011, in Orlando, Fla., at which attendees will have a chance to hear from several companies on the cutting edge of this trend. We’ve also teamed up with ODIN to create fun and interactive ways for visitors to experience the power of RFID-enhanced social networking.

This seminar will feature a presentation by Meyer Malka, the co-CEO of Bling Nation, a company that allows consumers to use their cell phones to connect with businesses while in a retail environment. The firm will explain how it has partnered with Facebook and other online communities to furnish registered customers with access to discounts and rewards, while also enabling merchants to obtain critical customer data and profiles to drive increasingly targeted offerings.

Robert Urwiler, Vail Resorts‘ CIO and a pioneer of using RFID-enhanced social networking, will explain how skiers at Vail’s resorts can automatically track the number of vertical feet they have skied (calculated by reading an RFID transponder in their ski pass) and then share that information with friends via Facebook and Twitter.

Tom Sullivan, a principal at marketing firm Vitro, will explain how his company created an RFID-enhanced social-networking experience at the New York City Marathon for ASICS, a manufacturer of athletic shoes and technical active sports apparel and accessories. And Jeff Sommers, the owner of Izzy’s Ice Cream Café, will explain how his company employs RFID and Facebook to stay connected to customers.

The seminar will also feature a presentation by Patrick J. Sweeney II, ODIN’s president and CEO. ODIN, a sponsor of the seminar, helped develop and deploy the application for Vail Resorts. Sweeney will outline the key concepts and system requirements of an RFID social-media experience, including how to ensure consistency and accuracy of interaction.

In addition, attendees will get to see and experience RFID’s role in linking real-world events with social-media sites. RFID Journal teamed up with ODIN to create a social-media experience at LIVE! Each attendee will be able to utilize the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) transponder in his or her badge (supplied by Zebra Technologies) to automatically “Checkin” to his or her Facebook account and share experiences at the event with friends in real time.

ODIN is also setting up a photo booth in RFID Journal‘s booth at the exhibit hall. Visitors will be able to take a photo and upload it automatically to the LIVE! 2011 Facebook page.

So if you’re a marketing professional or an innovative small business owner, come to the preconference, use the interactive kiosks and stop by the RFID Journal booth to take a photo and share it. This could be your first experience with this potent combination of technologies—RFID and social media—that might soon be a common feature at most conferences, entertainment venues and marketing events.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor’s Note archive or RFID Connect.