Category Archives: Access ID

RFID Cards, Vail Resorts and Social Media: What’s the Connection?

In 2008, Vail Resorts instituted a ticketing system based on radio frequency identification technology—including Zebra UHF cards and card printers—to improve its guests’ experiences by speeding and simplifying ski lift-ticket checking. Now, as RFID Journal reports, Vail Resorts is taking its RFID-enabled lift passes to a new level—and connecting them with social media tools to ramp up guest engagement and enthusiasm.

How, you ask? This season, the lift passes will track how many vertical feet visitors have skied. Skiers and snowboarders can see their statistics online, and share and compare stats through their Facebook and Twitter social-media accounts. And while at the resort, they can use their Web-enabled phones to see when and where their friends are skiing.

Competition. Conversation. Customer satisfaction. What more could a ski resort wish for? And to think it can start with a little ol’ RFID chip.

Can you see a use for a similar application in your business?

Read the RFID Journal article.

Also take a look at Zebra’s case study about Vail Resorts’ first-of-a-kind RFID lift access. And learn more about UHF RFID card technology, which can be read from 20 feet away, in this white paper.


City College of San Francisco Prints Student IDs in One-Sixth the Time

As one of the largest community colleges in the country, The City College of San Francisco provides a quality, affordable education option for the Bay Area. To better compete with other area colleges and universities, the college has initiated a number of upgrades to its internal IT infrastructure.

In the admissions office, that meant improving the process of issuing student identification cards. Before, producing each card took a minute-and-a-half. Across 100,000 students, that time made for frustrating waits for students and exhausting days for staff during peak times.

“At the beginning of every semester, students formed long lines that spilled out the doorway of the admissions office,” said Chinh Nguyen, IS administrator at City College. “This caused concern with facility management as the students were causing congestion and creating potential fire code violations.”

On top of slow printing, as many as three out of 10 cards printed were defective, so the staff had to reprint nearly a third of all IDs, increasing production times, wait times and material costs for the office. In addition to faster printing, City College wanted to upgrade cards to include higher-quality photos and magnetic striping so students could use them throughout the campus.

The College took a trial run with the Zebra® ZXP Series 8 card printer. The retransfer technology helps create plastic identification cards with photo-quality images. The college ran the trial for six weeks. Click here to find out how they:

  • Print IDs in less than 15 seconds per card—one-sixth the time of previous printers.
  • Save 2,000 hours across 100,000 ID cards.
  • Reduce student wait time at the start of each semester.
  • Redeployed dmissions staff to other tasks.

Taking Photo IDs For Granted

There was an interesting article in the Huffington Post last week about the humanitarian efforts underway to address the growing food shortages in Niger. Recent estimates there put 7.1 million people facing hunger with 3 million of them facing extreme food shortages. Volunteers work to distribute planting seeds, nutritional supplements to children as well as emergency cash to women. You can read the article here.

One of the challenges volunteers are coping with is the lack of any IDs which are needed in order to get a mobile phone contract for example. Workers discovered that few if any of the women they were trying to help had any form of ID. Initially the workers figured they could just crank them out with a PC and some card stock but they soon found it much more difficult than they estimated. Eventually they were able to create a solution using six laptops, cameras and intensive training. After many days and nights of identification and printing, nearly 9,000 women were given photo ID cards.

We talk often about the need for extra secure IDs with tamper proof materials and wear-resistant materials but sometimes, in applications were basic face recognition is needed, simple photo IDs that can be produced quickly and inexpensively work just fine.

For more information on quick and cost-effective ID solutions, click here.