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What is RFID?

RFID Wristbands


A RFID system consists of a RFID chip/tag (transponder with an identifying code), which is applied to the wristband, and a reader for reading this identifying code.

Our RFID wristbands contain NFC (near-field-communication) chips - typically up to 5 cm - passive tags which don't require batteries, but instead, are powered when placed near or 'tapped' against an RFID reader.

When detecting an RFID wristband, the reader 'agitates' a magnetic field created by a coiled antenna within the tag. The tag then uses this kinetic energy to 'power-up' and send data (held within the tags' memory), back to the reader. The tags in RFID wristbands can either be personalised with someone's profile (e.g. data is held directly on the chip itself) or they can be used as an access 'key' to a secure database of personal data. NFC is designed to be a secure form of data exchange, and an NFC device is capable of being both an NFC reader and an NFC tag. This unique feature allows NFC devices to communicate peer-to-peer.

What about using NFC smartphones instead?

The problem with using NFC smartphones instead of wristbands is that not everyone has one. This alienates ticket-holders and brings contactless participation down from an achievable 100 per cent if you issue every attendee with an RFID wristband. Then there's the fact phones run on batteries, and unlike RFID wristbands, will run out at some point during a multi-day event. And, with limited (sometimes non-existent) ways to re-charge your phone in a field, your e-wallet, e-ticket and the ability to brag to your friends on Facebook, will vanish. It's not just the practical issues mentioned above that affect festival-goers though, but the data integrity and security of any RFID system at a festival crumbles when the contactless device isn't locked to your wrist, synced to your profile and made non-transferable.


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