New high tech RFID wristbands are slowly but surely showing up at festivals around the globe this year. Earlier this summer Bonnaroo used RFID wristbands as a way to combat counterfeit badges. Next month, they’ll show up at another huge festival too.Lollapalooza is offering its festival goers a new way to pay for food and drinks.
A small RFID (radio frequency identification) chip is being placed into each wristband that everyone entering the festival will have to wear. All Lolla2014 attendees will have the option to enter their credit card info online prior to the opening day of the event. Restaurant and drink vendors will have point-of-sale systems set up that will allow each bracelet user to scan their bands on a pad and type in a pin code to pay for each item.
The tech-enabled wristbands will also work offline. Whew! We all know that unless one of the big cellular companies like AT&T or Verizon sets up a mobile tower a good signal is virtually hard to find at any festival. Internet can be equally as spotty. Merchants trying to complete digital transactions via the Internet aren’t exactly doomed.
The chips in the wristbands will keep track of each transaction until it has a chance to establish an Internet connection again. We think it’s cool to give everyone a new way to pay. It will be even more interesting to hear feedback from vendors and music revelers when its’ all said and done. A new way to buy stuff always has hiccups. Requiring a pin will definitely reduce fraud from lost bracelets, but what about people who don’t have enough money on their cards who rack up tabs with vendors? We’ll be sure to bring cash and eat before we hit the festival everyday! Just in case… Lollapalooza 2014 kicks off August 1st and runs through August 3rd in Grant Park, in Chicago, Illinois.
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