September 23, 2009

In today’s RWW there’s a post about RFID smart card. It mentioned 3 other RFID smart card use cases: London, Japan and Hongkong. I have to say, RWW, you’re kinda late on this, cause you missed China.

I do not have many chances to go back to China these days, but I do managed to go back in 2006, and twice last year. In 2006 I stayed in Shanghai for 2 weeks, and found that it was not easy to go out without a RFID public transportation card. The buses and subways do have coin slots and you can buy a one-time use magnetic card, but it was just too much hassle to buy them.

Later on I found that some of my friends back in Shanghai took charged RFID cards as part of their salary. No, not because some evil company or .gov staff forced them to do so. It was because they use RDIF cards everyday, and it was just easier for them to get the card and go - no need to buy and charge.

Last winter I visited Guangzhou and Shenzhen, two major cities next to Hongkong. I had to travel between the two cities. I took the inter-city high speed train, which cruises at 180km/h. The train ticket itself, which costs about 11 USD, is a piece of paper with smart RFID card embedded in it. Placing it against the sun I can see the antenna and the chip inside. The train company recycles those tickets, but I managed to sneak out one. I do not have photo of it right now, but I’ll post one if people are interested.


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