Barcoding Inc.

September 7th, 2010

RFID and Social Media at Vail Resorts

Last year, we discussed how Vail Resorts implemented an RFID system by using Intermec CN3 Mobile Computers with IP30 RFID Readers. After the system was implemented, skiers and snowboarders could easily pass through lines without ever having to take their passes out of their jackets.

Now, Vail Resorts has decided to take their RFID system a step farther by connecting to social media. Patrons will be able to use their RFID-enabled lift tickets to connect with one another through a variety of different social media outlets, in addition to tracking their metrics, which can be broadcasted over the internet for all to see.

As patrons pass through any of the ski lifts, EPC Gen 2 RFID readers and antennas will be mounted, capturing their tag ID. Through the platform EpicMix, in combination with the RFID technology, patrons will be able to easily interact via their phones. As skiers/snowboarders visit lifts throughout the day, their ID will be captured, allowing the system to calculate the number of feet they have traveled based on the distance between chairs. The results are added up throughout the day, and at the end of the day, the user’s data is reflected on his or her profile.

Similar to the Foursquare “badges” concept, users can earn electronic “pins” when they reach certain milestones throughout their stay. For example, if someone rides three different chairlifts in one night, they can earn the “Nightrider” pin. Once pins are earned and/or stats are recorded, visitors can publicize their information via Facebook or Twitter. They can even compare stats with other Facebook friends. If a group of skiers or snowboarders are at the resort together, the application can also show their friend’s last location on the mountain, in addition to sending messages to their group at the resort.

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