Thursday, September 4, 2008

French USB Train Tickets

The French are doing something interesting with USB and trains. France's national train service (SNCF) is offering 1,000 USB TRAIN TICKETS in a trial. By plugging the card into a PC USB port, the users' computers are automatically connected to the SNCF web site, where they can make payments and get schedules. Schedules can be downloaded to the card. The cards work like a debit card - passengers buy some amount then the fare is deducted each time they ride. The device can store information on one chip with up to 4 Gigabytes of memory. Data on the card will include the cardholder's name and personalized information—whether that person is a student or senior citizen, for instance, or the amount of money the cardholder has available for purchases or transit tickets—along with other data, such as transit schedules that can be downloaded from the Internet. A second chip, for the RFID function, operates independently of the USB-stored data, and holds a unique ID number that is transmitted at the transit station when a passenger passes through a turnstile. Thus, the cost of the ticket is automatically deducted from the user's prepaid balance. If it is successful, they fully intend to implement it to all customers by 2010.

Source : Coolest-Gadget | RFIDJournal

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