News Editor/Reviews Editor
The use of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) at conventions is in its infancy, and has been tested recently at Silicon Valley Comic Con (SVCC) and Wondercon. Intellitix will be implementing this system to monitor patron traffic and insure legitimate entrance into events at the massive convention that is San Diego Comic Con (SDCC).
For clarity, the RFID system requires electronic tags and portals for entrances and exits. The portal reads the electronic tag and checks the database for authentication. Tags have access for different events, attempting to keep things fluid and secure. This is done by integrating the RFID software with CCI’s database through an API and all data being synchronized in real time.
Director of Customer Success of Intellitix, Jon Zifkin explains the system: “When an RFID badge is scanned at a portal, the system validates (or invalidates) the credential against the event database to ensure the guest entering the venue has a valid right of admission and has not previously entered the venue, unless they’ve scanned out at the exit first or have special permission to be in that area or room. This eliminates any counterfeit badges or passbacks from entering the event, protecting guests who have rightfully purchased their WonderCon [or SDCC] experience.”
Yet, there are concerns regarding the system. The largest concerns being whether personal information is stored on the tags and how efficient the system is? To the former, Zifkin reassures us, saying, “The RFID chips embedded in the badges do not store any personal information on it; rather, an RFID tag is used as a ‘key’ to access its unique profile in the event database.”
As for the RFID Access Control System and its efficiency, it seems to have run better than many patrons were expecting. Despite frustrating issues on the first day of Wondercon, the on-site Intellitix and CCI Troubleshooting team were able to find a solution for the invalid tags. When SDCC asked for feedback on the Access Control System via Twitter, it seemed like most patrons thought it ran smoother than had anticipated. Whether or not they will be able to handle the quantity of people attending SDCC is yet to be seen.
Zafkin is confident in the teams. Planning and troubleshooting have been going on for months now, and Intellitix has handled large scale events before, including Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, but the multitude of events and micromanagement of an enormous convention could prove difficult. “We look forward to seeing all the work and technology come together to provide a better, more secure experience for SDCC attendees,” Zifkin said.