Last winter popular ski resort Whistler Blackcomb unveiled RFID-enabled lift tickets for the first time. After a successful winter season, the mountain is using the same RFID system for its hiking trails this summer.
“The ski season turned out great,” says Rob McSkimming, Whistler Blackcomb’s Vice President of Business Development. “Most people liked the idea of not having to take their pass out of their pockets. It made sense to extend the technology to hiking.”
McSkimming says that hikers will be able to track their progress on the trails using RFID by the end of June. The resort’s 360 Pass, which is valid until October, includes an embedded RFID tag that is read by readers located at key trailhead locations on the mountain.
Hikers will be able to view their start and finish times for as many as 25 trails, which will be automatically uploaded to a website. Hikers can also compare their times against other hikers.
Whistler Blackcomb got the idea for hiking from the Grouse Grind area in Vancouver, which uses RFID to allow hikers to benchmark their times against other hikers. When returning to the base lodge, hikers can see their name and time on a large screen monitor.
McSkimming says that the RFID project will be expanded this winter from access control to include more consumer engagement use cases.