Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > The DIS Unplugged Podcast
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-27-2013, 10:11 PM   #1
doconeill


Fastpass Jedi Master
 
doconeill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,830

TravelTech - more details on RFID

RFID was a hot topic on the chat during the live podcast...I've dealt with the technology quite a bit and have been studying how the MagicBands will appear to work...and since I'm a tech nutcase...and for the benefit of those who didn't watch/listen:

There are two basic types of RFID - active and passive. Passive is the more common one, and the one described by Mike. Active actually involves a battery powered transmitter in the tag - a lot of toll systems use an active transmitter that needs to be replaced every couple years because of the battery. SunPass somewhat recently introduced a passive tag system to eliminate the need for replacement - plus the passive tags are a fraction of the cost.

I'll skip further discussion of active RFID for now, but I will mention it once more.

Passive RFID systems work through a combination of magnetic fields and radio signals. A passive tag generally has no battery or other power source at all - yet it contains a radio transmitter, which requires power to work. When passing a conductive metal through a magnetic field, it generates a current - so if you pass a passive RFID chip through a magnetic field, a charge is induced that is enough to power the chip and send a signal. The strength of that signal (which affects range) depends on the strength of the magnetic field and the antenna (which really serves two purposes - to act as the transmitting antenna, but also to convert the magnetic field into the current for power. The "longer" the antenna is (it can be coiled, or go around back in forth in circles like seen on the tag Mike showed), the more current can be generated.

Most passive systems are VERY lower power. The magnetic field is very close to the receiver, which requires the chip to be very close to the receiver - often having to touch it. This prevents it from picking up several chips in the vicinity. Some use stronger systems to be read at a distance - a lot of door lock card readers can read RFID cards from a foot or so. The Sunpass system reads from about 15 feet! To do that, the magnetic field is much stronger - something you probably don't want to be standing in for a long period of time, like standing in line at Disney

Very little information is sent by an RFID chip - typically just a code, along with some checksums to make sure of the integrity of the code. For an RFID credit card, that's the credit card number, along with a CVV code. That's the major concern over RFID - that someone could read your credit card number from a distance. And it IS possible - remember, the distance is partly a factor on the receiver's field strength. I've noticed more and more merchants will require a second CVV code that's printed on the card only - it's not part of the magstripe or RFID, and needs to be entered manually, to help prevent (not completely solve) this issue.

In Disney's case, it's like a typical door card system - each card has a unique number. It doesn't contain a credit card number, your name, or anything like that. It's just a code. That code is linked in the ginormous Disney Database of Everything to your info. If someone skimmed your RFID code, they couldn't get any personal info (without also having access to the database). They might be able to purchase a few snacks on your account though, and steal your TSM FastPass+...at least until you got it replaced and that code is invalidated.

I don't know about the RFID cards currently being issued, but the MagicBands will (supposedly - never been seen yet) have two passive RFID chips, that operate at different frequencies. They will likely have two different codes as well. This could be for redundancy, or perhaps for enhanced security.

Now about that one last mention of the active transmitter...the MagicBands (according to the FCC filing) will ALSO contain an active transmitter, working at a higher frequency (2.4GHz in fact - basic Wi-Fi frequency...). There is an embedded battery within the MagicBand to power it. Why have that as well? Because they want to enable enhanced experiences activated at a distance - less obvious to the guest that it is happening. They haven't said specifically (it's got to be part of the magic, after all) but one example is where the princesses can call your child by name without being prompted, because that information will be available to them before they approach. Another example is to have a special message on a screen in an attraction when you go by.

Of course, they could potentially do more - send a message to your smartphone when you walk by the Emporium to let you know you can have 10% off that jacket you were looking at earlier, etc. (just a theoretical example)

This also means that guests who do not get MagicBands and only get the RFID cards, will miss out on some unspecified experiences.

Someone in chat mentioned Near Field Communication, or NFC - a feature found in an increasing number of smartphones, etc. It is based on RFID technologies but is designed as a two-way system, although one-way tags can also be used. The protocols used are different, and contains other features that make it better in privacy situations with smarter devices.

I hope that answers some questions people have on RFID...I think I have rambled on quite enough...

(P.S. I will now refer to the Disney Database of Everything as the DDE, and reclaim those initials...)
__________________
Doc - WDW Untangled - New: Fastpass+ - Rider Switch - MagicBands - ADR Calculator - WDW MYW Ticket Price Calculator
"WDW is the reason more of us should have paid more attention in Math class." - Me
Commissioner, Official DIS Unplugged Fantasy Football League - MK Conf - EC Conf - HS Conf -2013 Champion oc_tony!
4th Annual New England DISMeet for GiveKidsTheWorld - Oct 3-5, 2014 - Plymouth, MA


Last edited by doconeill; 03-28-2013 at 08:40 AM.
doconeill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 11:16 PM   #2
k5jmh

DIS Tech Talk Guru
Ask me about Alpaca poop!
I want to pour that Sauce all over my body
 
k5jmh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 5,409

The Magnetic Fields used to "electrify" the passive RFID are actually EMF fields generated by Radio. Much in the same way a magnetron uses EMF to heat water particles in a microwave oven. This is the same way The Powermat transfers power to personal electronics.

I say we walk around with a bag of microwave popcorn while at the parks and see who's bag pops first.
__________________
k5jmh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2013, 11:25 PM   #3
doconeill


Fastpass Jedi Master
 
doconeill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,830

Well yes..EMF is Electro Magnetic Field.. But we aren't talking microwaves here...don't need to scare people more
__________________
Doc - WDW Untangled - New: Fastpass+ - Rider Switch - MagicBands - ADR Calculator - WDW MYW Ticket Price Calculator
"WDW is the reason more of us should have paid more attention in Math class." - Me
Commissioner, Official DIS Unplugged Fantasy Football League - MK Conf - EC Conf - HS Conf -2013 Champion oc_tony!
4th Annual New England DISMeet for GiveKidsTheWorld - Oct 3-5, 2014 - Plymouth, MA

doconeill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 07:05 AM   #4
OKW Lover

Yes, we love Old Key West
Connoisseur of the fine things in life, and has the time to enjoy them (Just ask his wife)
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 2 miles north of the Castle!
Posts: 21,699

Good info Brian (and Mike).

A couple of unbelievably geeky corrections/clarifications:

Quote:
The "longer" the antenna is (it can be coiled, or go around back in forth in circles like seen on the tag Mike showed), the more current can be generated.
I believe power is probably the right word here. In conventional electrical terms current = amperage. The combination of amperage and voltage tells you how much power (watts, or in this case milliwatts) the device uses.

Quote:
When passing a conductive metal through a magnetic field, it generates a current - so if you pass a passive RFID chip through a magnetic field, a charge is induced that is enough to power the chip and send a signal.
Technically correct. However you don't have to actually move the collector through the magnet field. If the magnetic field is generate by an alternating current (RF) source, the field itself is moving so even a stationary collector will still accumulate power.

__________________
OKW Lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
k5jmh

DIS Tech Talk Guru
Ask me about Alpaca poop!
I want to pour that Sauce all over my body
 
k5jmh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 5,409

Jeff is one with Ohm's law.

__________________
k5jmh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 08:37 AM   #6
doconeill


Fastpass Jedi Master
 
doconeill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,830

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKW Lover View Post
Good info Brian (and Mike).

A couple of unbelievably geeky corrections/clarifications:

I believe power is probably the right word here. In conventional electrical terms current = amperage. The combination of amperage and voltage tells you how much power (watts, or in this case milliwatts) the device uses.
Oh sure, the actual power guy speaks up... You are dredging up bad memories of my EE classes now, Jeff...

Quote:
Technically correct. However you don't have to actually move the collector through the magnet field. If the magnetic field is generate by an alternating current (RF) source, the field itself is moving so even a stationary collector will still accumulate power.

Yup...which is why to don't really need to wave the card/MB around. In fact, waving it around can actually make it harder to read, as you might be moving it in/out of the effective range...
__________________
Doc - WDW Untangled - New: Fastpass+ - Rider Switch - MagicBands - ADR Calculator - WDW MYW Ticket Price Calculator
"WDW is the reason more of us should have paid more attention in Math class." - Me
Commissioner, Official DIS Unplugged Fantasy Football League - MK Conf - EC Conf - HS Conf -2013 Champion oc_tony!
4th Annual New England DISMeet for GiveKidsTheWorld - Oct 3-5, 2014 - Plymouth, MA

doconeill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
doconeill


Fastpass Jedi Master
 
doconeill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,830

Quote:
Originally Posted by k5jmh View Post
Jeff is one with Ohm's law.
And now I'm thinking of the engineering students going down the halls, chanting, "Ohm....ohm....ohm..."

__________________
Doc - WDW Untangled - New: Fastpass+ - Rider Switch - MagicBands - ADR Calculator - WDW MYW Ticket Price Calculator
"WDW is the reason more of us should have paid more attention in Math class." - Me
Commissioner, Official DIS Unplugged Fantasy Football League - MK Conf - EC Conf - HS Conf -2013 Champion oc_tony!
4th Annual New England DISMeet for GiveKidsTheWorld - Oct 3-5, 2014 - Plymouth, MA

doconeill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 10:24 AM   #8
OKW Lover

Yes, we love Old Key West
Connoisseur of the fine things in life, and has the time to enjoy them (Just ask his wife)
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: 2 miles north of the Castle!
Posts: 21,699

Quote:
Originally Posted by doconeill View Post

And now I'm thinking of the engineering students going down the halls, chanting, "Ohm....ohm....ohm..."

Resist the thought.

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
__________________

Last edited by OKW Lover; 03-28-2013 at 02:02 PM.
OKW Lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 05:53 PM   #9
k5jmh

DIS Tech Talk Guru
Ask me about Alpaca poop!
I want to pour that Sauce all over my body
 
k5jmh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 5,409

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKW Lover View Post
Resist the thought.

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
I would not want to impede you Jeff.
__________________
k5jmh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 06:00 PM   #10
doconeill


Fastpass Jedi Master
 
doconeill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,830

Quote:
Originally Posted by k5jmh View Post
I would not want to impede you Jeff.
I think we're all about to be inducted into the electrical loony bin.

Especially since we seem to be alone here...

I'm going to Universal to ride Transformers.
__________________
Doc - WDW Untangled - New: Fastpass+ - Rider Switch - MagicBands - ADR Calculator - WDW MYW Ticket Price Calculator
"WDW is the reason more of us should have paid more attention in Math class." - Me
Commissioner, Official DIS Unplugged Fantasy Football League - MK Conf - EC Conf - HS Conf -2013 Champion oc_tony!
4th Annual New England DISMeet for GiveKidsTheWorld - Oct 3-5, 2014 - Plymouth, MA

doconeill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
johde
DIS Veteran
 
johde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,791

Quote:
Originally Posted by doconeill View Post

Most passive systems are VERY lower power. The magnetic field is very close to the receiver, which requires the chip to be very close to the receiver - often having to touch it. This prevents it from picking up several chips in the vicinity. Some use stronger systems to be read at a distance - a lot of door lock card readers can read RFID cards from a foot or so. The Sunpass system reads from about 15 feet! To do that, the magnetic field is much stronger - something you probably don't want to be standing in for a long period of time, like standing in line at Disney
A system sort of in the middle would be use one used by most larger races, including RunDisney. Originally the RFID chip was on an item you attached to your show. Now, the RFID chip is on the runners bib and it's designed to capture and pick up several chips at a time. It's not the 15ft of a Sunpass but about 4-5 feet. A system like that could be used for wide scale data collection like people entering or exiting an area. In running, the receiver is in the mat runners travel across.
__________________
Jeremy

Several Trips off site and at Grandma house going back to 1976
Dec 2002 OKW; Dec 2003 OKW; Sept 2004 BWV&OKW; Dec 2005 OKW Sept 2006 BWV: Sept 2007 BWV & AKV
Dec 2009 AKV & BWV: Sept 2011 VCG and the Disneyland Half Marathon: Jan 2013 OKW and AKV New years at Disney. Jan. 2015 AKV/ Cabana Bay?
johde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #12
doconeill


Fastpass Jedi Master
 
doconeill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,830

Quote:
Originally Posted by johde View Post
A system sort of in the middle would be use one used by most larger races, including RunDisney. Originally the RFID chip was on an item you attached to your show. Now, the RFID chip is on the runners bib and it's designed to capture and pick up several chips at a time. It's not the 15ft of a Sunpass but about 4-5 feet. A system like that could be used for wide scale data collection like people entering or exiting an area. In running, the receiver is in the mat runners travel across.
Having not yet run any race (although I'm registered for the Everest 5K...ugh...must...get...moving...), I'm assuming it's a passive tag. It could depend on the size of the antenna, as it's a function of size on both ends - the field and receiver antenna on one and the tag antenna on the other. Not sure how the antenna is wired in the MagicBands and if it is tuned for that sort of distance. Then again, they'll have the active transmitter for that if they wanted.

I forgot to mention - so, the MagicBands have a limited lifetime because of that battery, but only as it applies to features that require the active transmitter. Not a problem for guests staying on packages, etc. who can get a new one each trip, but more of an issue for AP holders and those who purchase customized/designer MagicBands. I'm hearing that they should have a lifetime of about 2 years, but that isn't confirmed. And don't know how/if Disney will handle replacements - or how you'd know you need a new one yet.

Although the transmitter works at Wi-Fi frequency, which can get about 300 feet in the clear outdoors, these would be transmitting at a very low power. I hear it's about a 7-15 foot effective range.
__________________
Doc - WDW Untangled - New: Fastpass+ - Rider Switch - MagicBands - ADR Calculator - WDW MYW Ticket Price Calculator
"WDW is the reason more of us should have paid more attention in Math class." - Me
Commissioner, Official DIS Unplugged Fantasy Football League - MK Conf - EC Conf - HS Conf -2013 Champion oc_tony!
4th Annual New England DISMeet for GiveKidsTheWorld - Oct 3-5, 2014 - Plymouth, MA

doconeill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 07:21 PM   #13
k5jmh

DIS Tech Talk Guru
Ask me about Alpaca poop!
I want to pour that Sauce all over my body
 
k5jmh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 5,409

Well here is one reason for the delay in Magic Band release...

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/the-d...,2136300.story
__________________
k5jmh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 07:33 PM   #14
doconeill


Fastpass Jedi Master
 
doconeill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 16,830

Quote:
Originally Posted by k5jmh View Post
Well here is one reason for the delay in Magic Band release...

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/the-d...,2136300.story
Interesting...I wonder if the legislation got delayed, or they were slow to get it filed...
__________________
Doc - WDW Untangled - New: Fastpass+ - Rider Switch - MagicBands - ADR Calculator - WDW MYW Ticket Price Calculator
"WDW is the reason more of us should have paid more attention in Math class." - Me
Commissioner, Official DIS Unplugged Fantasy Football League - MK Conf - EC Conf - HS Conf -2013 Champion oc_tony!
4th Annual New England DISMeet for GiveKidsTheWorld - Oct 3-5, 2014 - Plymouth, MA

doconeill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2013, 09:39 PM   #15
johde
DIS Veteran
 
johde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,791

Quote:
Originally Posted by doconeill View Post
Having not yet run any race (although I'm registered for the Everest 5K...ugh...must...get...moving...), I'm assuming it's a passive tag. It could depend on the size of the antenna, as it's a function of size on both ends - the field and receiver antenna on one and the tag antenna on the other. Not sure how the antenna is wired in the MagicBands and if it is tuned for that sort of distance. Then again, they'll have the active transmitter for that if they wanted.
Yea, the newer RFID chip on bib technology are passive tags. The mat transmits the field to energize the chip. I think some of the older foot tags were active.
__________________
Jeremy

Several Trips off site and at Grandma house going back to 1976
Dec 2002 OKW; Dec 2003 OKW; Sept 2004 BWV&OKW; Dec 2005 OKW Sept 2006 BWV: Sept 2007 BWV & AKV
Dec 2009 AKV & BWV: Sept 2011 VCG and the Disneyland Half Marathon: Jan 2013 OKW and AKV New years at Disney. Jan. 2015 AKV/ Cabana Bay?
johde is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: