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RFID helps us to dance like before the epidemic

  • Author:Lucy
  • Release on:2021-06-19
As the United Kingdom relaxes its blockade measures, Liverpool nightclub Circus has launched an event that does not wear a mask and does not need to follow social distancing measures. This event relied on COVID-19 detection before and after the event, with the help of cashless payment technology based on HF RFID, to provide a relatively safe place for the staff and fans participating in the music event. The first trial of a mask-free indoor entertainment activity approved by the British government was held at the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse in Liverpool from April 31 to May 1.

There are 3,000 people participating in this activity every day. They dance, drink, and enjoy music together, with almost no restrictions. It is understood that this event is part of England's Events Research Programme. The purpose of the project is to determine how to safely reopen activities during the epidemic. Most British residents under the age of 40 had not been vaccinated before the day of the Circus event. Therefore, this event took a number of measures, first requiring all ticket holders to be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to enter the venue.

The event organizer prepared hand sanitizers, point-of-sale smart terminals, employee masks and the RFID cashless payment system provided by Event Genius on the spot, eliminating the need for queuing and cash transactions. During the two-night concert, 6000 fans from the Liverpool area watched the performances of several well-known DJs such as Sven Väth, Fatboy Slim and the Blessed Madonna.

All ticket buyers and all employees promised to conduct two COVID-19 tests, one before the performance and the other five days after the end of the performance. The test result of those who enter the venue must be negative. Judging from the scene, the performance is more like a concert before 2020, without any social distancing, and the participants did not wear masks. However, Reshad Hossenally, Chief Supply Chain Officer of Festicket, the parent company of Event Genius, said everyone wears a purple wristband that stores the money they need to buy drinks all night. .

Users buy online and prepay for drinks in the nightclub by credit or debit card. After arriving at the scene, they presented the barcode as proof of the shopping receipt, and then they obtained a wristband with a built-in HF RFID 13.56 MHz Mifare chip that complied with the ISO 15693 standard. The cash recharge is written into the wristband and stored in Event Genius's cloud software, and is associated with the unique ID number of the wristband.

When attendees go to a bar for a drink, they first place an order with the bartender, and then use a wristband to touch one of the 80 contactless smart terminals deployed by Event Genius on site. The smart terminal captures their tag ID, associates it with the credit card account, and then deducts the corresponding beverage fee. The data is written to the wristband and stored on the cloud server. In this way, if the system is offline, the wristband will continue to support payment and tracking deduction functions. Hosenali explained that this is a standard feature provided by Event Genius for such events. "Temporary activities always have the risk of certain events, so offline backup is the key to ensuring uninterrupted service."

At any time during the concert, if users want to top up their balance, they only need to visit a self-service top-up station of Event Genius, and then tap the wristband as instructed. The built-in HF RFID reader in the self-service top-up station will catch it. Tag IDs associated with their tickets and prepaid accounts. The touch screen will display payment amount options, and users can select a specific amount, and then show their mobile phone or contactless credit card to the payment device. At the end of the event, if the money in the wristband has not been spent, users can request that the remaining money be refunded to their account.

This temporary event is a practical pilot in the UK. Preliminary data from the pilot shows that through screening, improved ventilation and other mitigating factors, the risk of virus transmission can be greatly reduced. Hosenali said that this technology greatly reduces the risk of infection by solving the queuing problem required by traditional payment systems. And his main concern is also the possibility of the spread of the virus caused by personal cash transactions.

Hosannali explained: "The important point is to avoid cash transactions for health purposes." Even if an individual tests negative for COVID-19, the user may carry infected cash, which may be transferred to the processing. The person who pays the bill (WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both determined that the main mode of transmission of the virus is through respiratory droplets; it can also be transmitted through contaminated surfaces, but the risk is much lower).

The system includes 80 payment terminals, 4 recharge stations and 10 manual payment stations. Hosannali personally participated in this concert and found that there may be fewer terminals to serve the audience, but Event Genius and the event organizer both chose to proceed with caution and provided a large number of terminals. He recalled: "It's great to see people laughing happily again. This pilot is the key to restarting the entertainment industry. This is also a sign that things have returned to normal."

Event Genius is currently negotiating with several companies to provide a contactless payment system for some large concerts going on all over Europe. Hosenali said that in the future, the company may also provide a new feature that allows concert or event participants to use their mobile phones and Event Genius self-service stations or terminals for NFC-based payment or access management. There is no need for a wristband at all.

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