RFID Uses in the Entertainment and Leisure Sectors

When discussing the uses of RFID, people tend to focus on the ever increasing role the technology plays within the retail and logistics sectors. However, the case of RFID technology is not simply a case of ‘all work and no play’, as the technology is making headway in social, entertainment focussed environments.

What makes RFID solutions desirable is the way it stores and relays information. Within logistics this allows for a tighter control over the supply chain, within retail it allows for a smoother hassle free experience, and now RFID has the potential to make the entertainment sector more tailored and personalised towards each individual customer. For example, many gyms around the world are introducing RFID systems into their facilities. RFID technology is incorporated into exercise equipment, with gym customers being given their own unique electronic key gym key. What is innovative about this is the customer’s key can wirelessly communicate with the gym equipment. This then means the equipment can display unique welcome messages, track miles ran, calories burnt, or even weight lifted,  with this data then being fed back into a database the gym user can access. Overall, this creates a more personal, and arguably, a more useful exercise experience, as customers can effortlessly track their progress. Just like personal trainers drastically altered the way in which people work out, the introduction of RFID technology into gyms could potential have the same resonant effect – it could even lead to greater gains, due to the fact the information that the system records is entirely accurate, highlighting strengths and weaknesses much more effectively than a human personal trainer ever could.

In contrast to this, RFID technology has found more novel uses in theme parks in America. Certain theme parks have started issuing customers with their own RFID cards which contains information such as their names, age and gender. This is particularly useful for theme park owners, as the RFID tracking system can track what rides and attractions are popular with what demographic. This has healthy implications for the potential longevity of the park, as it means owners can create and maintain the perfect park for all their visitors. If there is a waning interest from female visitors, then new attractions can be introduced which may appeal more to a female audience, thus helping to maintain the park’s market share of customers. Another plus is the accurate relay of queue times, a concept which is inevitable within themeparks, yet something which is often clunky and problematic. RFID systems can calculate exactly how many people are in a queue and what the average speed of the queue is, resulting in precise queue times, which again improves the quality of the customer’s visit. If a display board says there is 30 minute queue for a ride, then that is exactly what there is. The days of seeing ‘approx 45 minutes’ displayed at a ride entry point, only to be stuck queueing for hours are over.

These are interesting developments in the world of RFID technology, with it displaying how it can greatly improve leisure industries as well as the the retail and logistical. In essence, RFID tags in retail industries showcases the flexibility of the technology being used. RFID tags can be written to store any data, ranging from sell by dates and SKU numbers, to customer names and contact information. Overall, the flexibility of RFID technology continues to improve and streamline the ways in which information is gathered and distributed, which can lead to impressive results, irrespective of sector or industry.

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