RFID At Outdoor Concerts
If you’ve ever been to an outdoor concert like Lollapalooza, you know that it’s hard to keep your stuff with you (the lost and found bins at these venues must be mountainous!). But new technology is finding ways to help concertgoers keep track of things like money with RFID bracelets that can be used to pay for food and other items.
The Food Bracelet
I’ll admit it – having the ability to simply tap a bracelet against a machine in order to get food could be very dangerous. This is especially true if you are feeling the earth-shifting effects of an all-day outdoor concert. But, it’s the kind of technology that people going to this year’s Lollapalooza love. Concert organizers are handing out RFID bracelets to anyone that wants one, and all attendees have to do is load that bracelet up with funds, and pick a password.
From there, the bracelets can be tapped at participating vendors (which is pretty much most of the vendors at Lollapalooza), and a pin code can be entered. After that’s done, food is handed over, and it all happens in a flash. It’s the fastest way to get customers through vendor lines, and that means that vendors can sell more food – a win-win. It may also mean that vendors and concert organizers can gather tons of data about the people that use the bracelets (called “Lolla Cashless”). Stuff like how many people used the bracelets, what those people bought, and other details can be gathered through bracelet usage.
The bracelets have been working very well at the concert thus far, though some people have been sending out tweets about malfunctioning bracelets or vendors that didn’t’ take the wristbands. But, the technology is new at this particular concert, and that means that it can only get better from here on out. Plus, it’s one heck of a really good way to have some kind of currency without worrying about carrying around your wallet – that’s kind of priceless, right?
Lollapalooza isn’t the only place where RFID wristbands are being used. Various other outdoor concerts are using the same or similar technology to make attending the concert simpler for everyone – vendors, concert organizers, and attendees. Despite the problems that some people have been complaining about, the bracelets are a great idea – and I’m sure that they’ll be even better and simpler to use next year. As for security concerns, you do have to have a pin code to use a bracelet, so you can’t just pick one up off of the floor and use it (but you might be able to coerce your friend into giving you a pin code as the day progresses!).
And, yes, the bracelets can be used to purchase drinks at the concert too – now there’s a scary thought. After all, it’s not money; it’s just a bracelet, right? That’s exactly the kind of thinking that concert organizers are banking on, and so far it seems to be working. Would you use a RFID bracelet?