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Rfid Tags To Track Passengers  
User currently offlineNoelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2211 times:

Reading in "Computing" this morning that scientists at University College London are developing a sustem that implants RFID tags into boarding passes to track passengers as they move around terminals in large airports.

There's a link here if anyone's interested:
http://www.vnunet.com/computing/news/2163719/rfid-plane-tickets-track

This might make it a bit easier when there are missing passengers etc!

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHanginOut From Austria, joined May 2005, 550 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2105 times:

While it may make it easier for airlines to track down missing passengers. It is also a potential invasion of privacy (not to mention a bit creepy) having the airline and airport staff know where you are at all times. For example, if I were to visit the "adult" theater (hypothetically speaking of course  biggrin  ) at FRA, the last people I would want to know where I am is the airline and airport. Also, what guarantees and safeguards would there be to ensure that this information wouldn't be shared with others, e.g. spouse/girlfriend or employer!

HanginOut



Dreaming of the day I can work for an airline
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

Just wrap the boarding pass in aluminium foil and no one can track it.

User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3900 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2058 times:
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Such an application of RFID is very far off in the future. For the time being, RFID just isn't where it needs to be to be used as a way of locating "things" (whether those things are people or object). What it is good for is counting said "things" as they go by or through a specific spot (think counting boxes going through a loading dock). Your favorite grocery store will be able to pinpoint your location in the store via the RFID tag in the products you buy and in your frequent shopper card well before your ex-favorite airport can send an email to your wife to let her know your boarding pass is looking for adult entertainment...

I could see RFID-enabled boarding passes used to improve security and speed boarding, however. If a sufficient number of boarding passes have an RFID tag, gates could be equipped with a RFID reader and passengers with the right boarding pass will have their dedicated lane where all they need to do is walk through the gate to board the plane and be accounted for.

Likewise, dedicated security lanes could also be made possible with a RFID chip in a boarding pass. The metal detector will do double duty as RFID reader and will display your name, destination and any secondary screening requirement to security personnel in less time than it takes to say "May I have your boarding pass please."

The major problem with RFID and boarding passes, however, is that airlines want to move away from issuing boarding passes altogether, and it's not like we can print an RFID tag at home (yet anyways, but one day, probably), which is why the first application of RFID technology in air transport will be for luggage and freight sorting. No more misreading a barcode/tag and sending someone's Aruba outfit to Stockholm in December.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2023 times:

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 3):
Such an application of RFID is very far off in the future

Not necessarily true - our new DCS system being built for BA/QF is designed to be able to track pax locations via RFID scanners at entry and service points in LHR T5.


User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1961 times:

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 3):
For the time being, RFID just isn't where it needs to be to be used as a way of locating "things" (whether those things are people or object).

Not true. Delta has had and still has the technology for using RFID chips in bag tags, to make tracking of bags easier. While it seems like a wonderful idea to have this information available would make misplaced bags gone for longer than a few hours virtually nonexistant, it all boils down to cost. Current bag tags cost approximately 3 cents a piece, whereas RFID tags cost around 25 cents a piece. Given the industry's focus on "lower and lower costs" and passenger's demands of "lower and lower fares," seeing such wonderful technology come to fruition is unlikely to happen. Its sad that it is within the technology, but just out of reach.



OttoPylit


User currently offlineLredlefsen From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1946 times:

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 3):
I could see RFID-enabled boarding passes used to improve security and speed boarding, however. If a sufficient number of boarding passes have an RFID tag, gates could be equipped with a RFID reader and passengers with the right boarding pass will have their dedicated lane where all they need to do is walk through the gate to board the plane and be accounted for.



Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 5):
it all boils down to cost. Current bag tags cost approximately 3 cents a piece, whereas RFID tags cost around 25 cents a piece.

Instead of blowing RFID tags on disposable boarding passes and luggage tags, the airlines might consider including them in the cards and luggage tags issued to "elite" members of their frequent traveller programs? Sure, the general public doesn't benefit initially, but your high-yield customers would in the form of faster lines and more accurate luggage delivery...


User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5153 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1937 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 5):
Current bag tags cost approximately 3 cents a piece, whereas RFID tags cost around 25 cents a piece. Given the industry's focus on "lower and lower costs" and passenger's demands of "lower and lower fares," seeing such wonderful technology come to fruition is unlikely to happen. Its sad that it is within the technology, but just out of reach.

But with the push by TSA and its counterparts around the world to reduce the amount of carry-on baggage, RFID may become a necessity. The ability to track a bag better at a origination airport, despite a bag tag that is 8 times more expensive, will reduce the cost of having an airline employee or courier deliver a misplaced bag to a passenger, who could be some distance from the airport.

The only time that I lost a bag was in YHA, flying in on Business Express. BEX and AA blamed each other for the transfer at BOS, but the fact of the matter was that a BEX employee had to drive from YHZ to our motel that was about 2 hours away in Port Hastings.


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3900 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1877 times:
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Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 4):
Not necessarily true - our new DCS system being built for BA/QF is designed to be able to track pax locations via RFID scanners at entry and service points in LHR T5.

My understanding of the article is that the intent is to use RFID to identify the location of passengers in real time so that they can be monitored automatically by cameras (sort of like a people radar). This isn't exactly the same type of application that is being built for T5, which will give you point-in-time snapshots of the location of passengers, but not an accurate tracking of their exact location.

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 5):
Not true. Delta has had and still has the technology for using RFID chips in bag tags, to make tracking of bags easier.

I didn't mention this in my post because this isn't a "novel" application of RFID. Next to counting units going in and out of a warehouse, sorting (whether it is bags in an airport or packages in a FedEx terminal) was one the first "real-world" use of RFID, along with making sure disposable razors were no longer stolen at grocery stores.

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 5):
Current bag tags cost approximately 3 cents a piece, whereas RFID tags cost around 25 cents a piece.

Delta is probably not getting enough volume because, two years ago, Gilette and Wal-Mart were each paying about 10 cents a tag. Furthermore, your cost estimate fails to includes the savings in bags that are not lost. You need to compare the cost of retrieving and delivering lost luggage against the cost of using RFID, not just compare the cost of chips vs the cost of current luggate tags.

Quoting Lredlefsen (Reply 6):
Instead of blowing RFID tags on disposable boarding passes and luggage tags, the airlines might consider including them in the cards and luggage tags issued to "elite" members of their frequent traveller programs?

Hadn't thought of that (but I'm sure someone who is paid to think about these things has), it's an excellent idea, and it goes around the problem of home-printed boarding passes very elegantly. The downside, however, is whether "elite" flyers carry their frequent flyer cards with them. I can only speak for myself, but with CO printing my status on my boarding pass (even iwhen I print it myself), I leave my frequent flyer card at home and have so far not regretted that choice.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4312 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1833 times:

Quoting Noelg (Thread starter):
scientists at University College London are developing a sustem that implants RFID tags into boarding passes to track passengers as they move around terminals in large airports.

While this makes good discussion for this forum, RFID technology is being discussed for use in ways many of us cannot imagine (unless we are a part of the industry vertical that is pushing the technology).

Quoting HanginOut (Reply 1):
It is also a potential invasion of privacy (not to mention a bit creepy)

I'll say...I don't want some lackey gate agent to know how long I've been in the loo as a result of the rubberized chicken I ate on the previous flight.

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 7):
But with the push by TSA and its counterparts around the world to reduce the amount of carry-on baggage, RFID may become a necessity.

As a result of the huge push by Wal-Mart, one of the biggest proponents of RFID technology and potentially one of its biggest beneficiaries (users), RFID will eventually become a part of everyday life at the consumer level.



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlineThorben From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1766 times:

I think RFID has a lot of police state potential and its use should be limited to logistics. People should never be tracked with it. Therefore nothing a person is supposed to carry around should be allowed to have one in, including passports.

User currently offlineLredlefsen From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1704 times:

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 8):
The downside, however, is whether "elite" flyers carry their frequent flyer cards with them. I can only speak for myself, but with CO printing my status on my boarding pass (even iwhen I print it myself), I leave my frequent flyer card at home and have so far not regretted that choice.

Sure, but what if CO offered you paperless boarding if you carried their card? During checkin (at home or at the airport), they assign you a seat and update your PNR, but you never bother with a physical paper boarding pass. Proceed to the special fast-track security line, where you swipe your CO FF card. Your picture and flight info pops up on a screen, as well as your elite and "selectee" status. The TSA person can direct you to the appropriate security line. Do the same at the gate. I guess paper boarding passes are still useful if you don't want to have to memorize your seat number -- although if they want to get *really* "21st century", they could have another little RFID terminal right on the plane that gets the latest seat assignments sent to eat (e.g., via WiFi). Swipe your RFID card as you step on the plane, and hope you can remember your seat assignment for 1-2 mnutes.  Smile

Quoting Thorben (Reply 10):
I think RFID has a lot of police state potential and its use should be limited to logistics. People should never be tracked with it. Therefore nothing a person is supposed to carry around should be allowed to have one in, including passports.

A lot of technologies (like your cell phone) have "police state potential": the cell phone network must track your location to make sure that you get good reception. Modern phones contain GPS receivers and send their coordinates back to the network.

I agree that putting RFID chips in passports can be a step backwards in security: it allows not only the "police state" to track you, but also the "bad guys". I think the U.S. has started equipping passports issued to its diplomats with RFID chips. Guess how easy it is to pick American diplomats out of a crowd now? (Not exactly what the government had in mind, I'm sure.) Here's a great article on the topic:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2004/10/rfid_passports.html


User currently offlineThorben From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1633 times:

Quoting Lredlefsen (Reply 11):
A lot of technologies (like your cell phone) have "police state potential": the cell phone network must track your location to make sure that you get good reception. Modern phones contain GPS receivers and send their coordinates back to the network.

Yes, of course. RFID is not the only police-state technology, but I think it is worse than others. Your cell phone you can leave at home, but a tiny RFID chip you don't even know about makes it a lot more easier to track you without your knowledge.


User currently offlineWr70beh From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1627 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 2):
Just wrap the boarding pass in aluminium foil and no one can track it.

This is why I think RFIDs for air travel are a bad idea. People already know how to bypass it before it comes out!


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9089 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1616 times:

When I first heard about RFID the cost of a chip was over one $, when it is 0,25$ now it is already a big improvement and the costs will go further down once the technique becomes the standard.

Even with the present (assumed) difference of 0,03 vs 0,25 the benefits of the RFID must be weighed against the higjher costs. Right now with bar codes, each items must be scanned. In the future, you just push the load device through the scanner and the items are checked against the manifest.

Passenger check in will involve less man power and will be a lot quicker. I doubt that they will have scanners in Dr. Mullers or other shops for locating missing passengers.

@ Thorben - a police state is a state without separation of powers, that was the East of Germany until 1989. We enjoy a democratic state since 1949 now and since 1990 in all of Germany. Your worries are pointless.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineStandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1568 times:

Quoting HanginOut (Reply 1):
For example, if I were to visit the "adult" theater (hypothetically speaking of course ) at FRA, the last people I would want to know where I am is the airline and airport.

LOL! I thought it was you carrying that extendable telescope  Wink
I've never been there of course, but I've often walked past it.

RFID is coming.
My phone has more RAM than the computers for the Apollo program and costs a lot less. It's just a question of time and the costs will come down.


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