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Proximity Passes - Show me the data

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Proximity Passes - Show me the data

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Having skiied Cervinia/Zermatt for the first time over Easter, I loved the proximity card lift passes and gates, as so much more efficient than showing madame your pass. Being a bit of a geek, I then got thinking about the types of data you could disseminate from the system. Making a few assumptions: -

1) Each card is individually coded - i.e. they can track "one card" through the system -this is required to ensure a lost/stolen season pass can be deactivated.

2) The turnstiles have a 2-way connection to the main database server - again for the validity issue as above

3) theres some kind of end of month/ end of year settlement - i.e. if more people buy a Cervinia pass but ski in Zermatt than vice versa, Cervinia make a payment of a share of the pass revenue to Zermatt?

you could then dig out a whole load of stats/info depending on the 'real-time' nature / capacity of the system.

a) In the event of a missing skier you can see which lift they took last (could help in some scenarions)
b) there's a wide range of stats you could generate (knowing how long each lift takes to go up) , you could then look at time to ski from a to b, most popular lift, most number of lifts used, averages distance travelled over a day, impact of closing run 'c' on lift 'z' etc etc
c) User profiling - you could then use the data to find certain types of skiers - i.e. the "piste bashers", "nervous greeners etc"

On the other hand is there real benefit in this data over and above years of 'backhand' knoweledge that the lift company have gained from running the mountain for the last xx years, so am I'm just lost in a geek zone envisaging growth of network admin and SQL server roles in the alps?

As an aside given our names were associated with the passes, and if Italian you had to show ID to get one, is this of benefit in a 'lost skier scenario' - at least you can find the last lift they took and when?

does anyone have any useful or relevant experience
Cheers
bb
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
bertie bassett, I don't know about Zermatt / Cervinia specifically, but technically speaking the lift passes that I've come across are not proximity cards (which have a range of about 1-5 cm, such as those used in the Transport for London Oyster card scheme) but vicinity cards, which have a range of up to 1.5m.

Doubtless they're working on some on the ideas you mention, if they're not fielded already.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Zermatt have the SkiData halfgate system which is the less sophisticated option - it doesn't have all the advanced CRM/Data Mining/3rd party integration stuff and doesn't have a control of the users card details/face as they pass through the gates. Phssss but you don't know that, do you?

However it is a system more powerful than you can possibly imagine Happy. For example it is possible for a pisteur skiing past you on the slopes to check the image and other data they have potentially digitally encoded on the card by way of a PDA unit.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
They had the same system in the Ski Welt region in Austria - it was my first trip so I've only ever used them, but the thought of having to show a card to someone each time just makes me cringe. PLease correct/advise me - but surely you can only have SO many people going through at one time if they're checking each persons card? In Ski Welt for the really big lifts the turnstiles were upto 6 wide (maybe more) so there were never any long queues.

They were great - unless the cards didn't register, sometimes you had to swing your arm (I put mine in the wrist pocket and left it there for the whole trip) countless times before you got the beep and a smack of the turnstile behind your knees.

There's certainly some interesting data they can pull off it I'm sure, they're tracking everywhere you go/what time/how often, so from a marketing perspective and I guess performance measurement they could divert resources there.

They also had a form of pass you could get whereby you bought a number of points, and you just used different lifts until your points were spent (the longer, higher ones cost more points than the nursery drags).

Maybe this is the case in many places - I don't know as I've only been skiing once, so if people could reflect on that it would be interesting, is this something that is used widespread? I'm guessing if it's not, it probably will do in good time.

Oh yes - you hand your pass back at the end and get a welcome deposit back, nice at the end of a holiday when you're skint!!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have a Swatch wrist watch (Access/Snowpass) which I can load up with the ski pass data. Just hand it over to the cashier and they will load up the watch with the appropriate credit.

So I don't have to bother with the card, deposit, or returning it.

I believe they are all RFID based.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
The jungfrau region have a website where you enter the number of your card, and it will display a list of which lifts you used each day, and at what time.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Elizabeth B wrote:
The jungfrau region have a website where you enter the number of your card, and it will display a list of which lifts you used each day, and at what time.


But Darling... I was skiing at 2.30 on Friday afternoon, no I wasn't with my lover... what? You have a printout from the Jungfrau lift pass company that says otherwise !!! Shocked
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
In many places where they use similar system, some of thos ideas are already in place - as elizabeth B mentions, you can get print out showeng which lifts you used so you see your itinerary etc

quite a few of the resorts I skiied in NOrth america had individual bar code tags which were read by laser scanners - again this can be used to find friends for instance (e.g. can you tell me the last lift used by pass XXXXXX-SSS)
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
nbt wrote:
In many places where they use similar system, some of thos ideas are already in place - as elizabeth B mentions, you can get print out showeng which lifts you used so you see your itinerary etc

quite a few of the resorts I skiied in NOrth america had individual bar code tags which were read by laser scanners - again this can be used to find friends for instance (e.g. can you tell me the last lift used by pass XXXXXX-SSS)

I find them hopeless - they get very grotty, very quickly in my experience.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
At the EoSB a basher ended up in Meribel with a Val Thorens pass only. It was a genuine mix up but the lifty was able to review exactly where he had skied the day before and based on this evidence and the fact there were 14 of us with him all with valid passes, he let him get 2 lifts back to VT without charge.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
In the Three Valleys it's interesting to know that they do monitor where you ski - This is a true story:

Season worker gets a job and buys his own Courchevel only pass - he leaves the job but get agreement to keep his discounted pass.
He gets a job with the ESF and receives a free Three Valleys Pass.

Gives a mate his Courchevel pass (no photo on the pass and checks at lifts via handheld PC screens are quite rare).
Gets called at work and asked to explain how his Courchevel pass was being used 2 days ago while his 3V one is at the same time in another valley.

He says he lost the Courchevel one.

Then the lift company says - funny that yesterday you were on several lifts at the same time as the person who must have found your pass....
They try to fine hime 1800 Euros - he manages to lower it to 900 (alternative is he loses his job).

Suppose they could have an award for most lifts ridden in a season.
They're watching you....
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Potentially with RFID you could have a unique id for every pair of skis, that gave lift access i.e. enabled for resort after payment. Also any skis reported stolen, then their embedded id could be disabled and a global network could be used to track where skis next turned up and had been use etc. etc. Thieves could be dragged off the slopes.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Schladming gives you print outs of everywhere you have been and total distance covered if you tap your card number in at the machines in the gondola lift station - I love it! aj xx
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