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September 12, 2007

Alta to Debut RFID Ski Products

For those that don't know what RFID is, it is an embedded chip that has called a Radio Frequency ID that is a unique identifier. We use them for prox badges and identification on hardware assets and lots of companies use them to track shipments.

This from First Tracks Online:

NEW TICKETS: Alta is implementing a skier-friendly, web-friendly, hands-free ticketing system. All ski products will be loaded on the Alta Card, which will have an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip embedded in it to allow access through entry gates to the lifts. The hands-free system means no more showing a pass at every lift. Skiers place the Alta Card, with a valid ski product loaded on it, inside a pocket by itself and leave it there for the day; antennas will do the rest. At the end of the day, skiers can visit and enter the Web ID on the Alta Card to personalize the card, track ski history and reload the card. On the next ski day, skiers can go straight to the lifts and skip the extra stop at the ticket office.

Tell me that doesn't rock.

Those crazy folks at Alta. Want an old fashioned ski experience so they boot the boarders and get rid of the terrain park. Then they go and get rid of the ticket office and lift tickets for passholders. Like skiing in 1960 only with RFID.

Posted by Justin at September 12, 2007 12:43 AM


Great product for ski security, and freeride! But i didn't really understand how it works, what is the difference with an ARVA?

Posted by: Ski freeride at September 13, 2007 11:02 AM

Arva are Avalanche transceivers which are pretty different from what this is.

These are tiny embedded chips that are used for identification, not just for locating things:

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders.

An RFID tag is an object that can be applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification using radiowaves. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader.

Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a (RF) signal and can also be used for other specialized functions. The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal. A technology called chipless RFID allows for discrete identification of tags without an integrated circuit, thereby allowing tags to be printed directly onto assets at lower cost than traditional tags.

Today, a significant thrust in RFID use is in enterprise supply chain management, improving the efficiency of inventory tracking and management. However, a threat is looming that the current growth and adoption in enterprise supply chain market will not be sustainable. A fair cost-sharing mechanism, rational motives and justified returns from RFID technology investments are the key ingredients to achieve long-term and sustainable RFID technology adoption [1].

Posted by: Justin B at September 13, 2007 11:12 AM

Thanks for referencing our story, Justin. FYI there's more detail from when we first broke the story in June:

Keep up the good work,

Posted by: First Tracks at September 13, 2007 11:38 PM

My wife and who lives in europe would like goes to ski to Canada next season .
We are looking for some web site to book hotel, forfait, etc but we didn't find. anyboy can help us ???
KIM, Thanks

Posted by: KIM at September 21, 2007 12:45 AM