How RFID and NFC Are Changing the Entertainment Industry
Simple yet highly effective, RFID and NFC are two technologies whose versatility is bringing significant benefits to the entertainment industry. They open the doors to innovative marketing, close the doors on intruders, help make operations more efficient and, most importantly, improve the relationship between the company and the customer. Here, we’ll examine how RFID and NFC are changing the entertainment industry.
One of the innovative ways NFC helps with marketing is through the use of NFC wristbands, such as those available from Universal Smart Cards. These clever devices enable employees who wear them to share marketing information just by tapping the wristband on a potential customer’s phone. This marketing strategy has been used to let greeters at entertainment venues entice passers-by by sending them discounts and offers. They are also used by marketing professionals at press conferences who use them to send press releases and contact details.
Embedding NFC tags into posters is another much-used marketing technique. Vegas hotel owners, Caesars Entertainment, uses over 4000 NFC tags in its resorts, helping smartphone owners to find out information about their shows, casinos and restaurants.
Wide reaching security
Security is high on everyone’s agenda and users expect that entertainment venues will be safe places to visit. Today, RFID is making that security even more robust and user-friendly by replacing paper tickets with uniquely identifiable RFID tags which are either embedded into smart cards or wristbands. As each card is linked to a specific user, it is possible to authenticate the ID of the person entering the venue and guarantee that the tickets haven’t been counterfeited. Linking RFID devices with access control also makes it possible to restrict visitor access, making sure they can’t enter ‘staff only’ areas.
RFID can also be used to track people, helping venues protect against overcrowding in busy areas. If traffic gets too busy, access can be restricted immediately by changing the settings on the software.
Another security issue for entertainment companies is knowing the whereabouts of their expensive, hi-tech equipment. Preventing items getting lost or stolen can be a problem, especially on large sites. Attaching RFID tags on an item and placing a series of RFID readers around a venue ensures that they can always be found.
Hi-tech equipment isn’t the only type of asset that RFID can benefit. Many casinos now use playing chips which have RFID tags embedded into them. These are used to prevent counterfeit chips being used to play or being cashed in. And if RFID chips are stolen, they can be disabled, making them valueless – as was the case when $1.5 million worth of chips were taken from The Bellagio in Las Vegas.
NFC and RFID are helping to improve entertainment company operations in ways both big and small. On the small side, a new range of NFC enabled speakers being produced by the likes of Sony and Samsung are helping DJs and small venues to pair smartphones with the speakers. While music streaming still requires Bluetooth, NFC makes it easier to pair the devices.
On a larger scale, RFID is helping entertainment companies track their employees while at the venue. Providing employees with RFID smart ID cards, badges or wristbands enables managers to know the whereabouts of every staff member. This technology assists with time and management and can even be linked to payroll. The RFID devices can also be used for access control, preventing unauthorized entrance to the site and restricting the movement of employees to areas which they have permission to go.
Aside from tracking people, RFID can also be used to keep track of inventory. Concert venues, for example, can stay on top of merchandising stock, while bars and restaurants can ensure that supplies of food and drink don’t run out. They’ll also have a much more accurate picture of which products sell and which get left on the shelf.
Providing customers with RFID cards or wristbands presents another huge benefit in the form of data. Every part of the venue they visit is logged, as is the amount of time they spend there. If the card is also used as a loyalty card or a cashless vending card, that information is collected too. This gives entertainment venues unprecedented insights into visitor behavior. It can highlight the most popular and unpopular attractions at the venue, showing companies where improvements need to be made. When linked to personal data supplied by customers, such as age, gender, details about children, home city, etc., the data opens incredible opportunities for personalized marketing.
RFID and NFC devices are becoming ever more important tools in the entertainment industry and new and ever more innovative applications are being developed all the time. It’s not just their usefulness that makes them so ubiquitous within the industry, though. For such smart technologies, they are also very inexpensive to implement. The low cost of RFID and NFC devices, such as tags, smart cards, wristbands and readers, combined with their multifunctionality means we are going to see them play a major role in the entertainment sector for the foreseeable future.
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