Clubbers to enjoy a cocktail of Facebook and RFID

8 Nov 2011

VisionID's Cathal Murtagh

Some of Ireland’s top nightclubs, including Dublin’s Krystal and Cork’s Havana Browns, have achieved a technology first: clubbers will be able to use RFID tags to trigger Facebook status updates to tell friends what food or drinks they are enjoying and be able to share other content, like photos.

Clubbers in venues involved in the project, from Cork to Belfast, and Limerick to Dublin, can sign into their Facebook accounts as soon as they arrive at the venue and their accounts are synched with an RFID key fob. Every time they swipe the fob on a staff member’s tablet computer it updates their accounts to upload a photo, food or drink image or description or information about prizes they may have won on the night.

Among the clubs involved are Sense in Cookstown, Co Tyrone; Mynt in Belfast; Krystle in Dublin; Havana Browns in Cork; The Foundry in Carlow; The Icon in Limerick, as well as the CHQ building in Dublin’s IFSC. 

The live, social networking link is made possible under an entertainment project involving Clonmel-based VisionID, international communications company Ogilvy and technology developed by FISH Technologies.

The technology challenge involved in connecting Irish clubbers with their online social network in real time was to deliver wireless coverage in 100pc of the nightclubs, VisionID’s Cathal Murtagh explained.

VisionID has worked with major retailers, hospitals, pharmaceutical firms and distribution companies, but the Ogilvy project was their first for the nightclub industry.

“We used the Motorola AP5131 wireless access point throughout the venues in conjunction with a number of tablet computers. The Motorola AP5131 provides all the latest wired and wireless security standards, as well as the speed required to support the most demanding applications, including voice and video.

“The ability to take advantage of the AP5131’s mesh features allowed us to seamlessly work in each venue without the need to run cables – something which was not an option.

“The Mesh Network we put in place provided full, wireless coverage throughout the nightclub, over multiple floors. We had no issues overcoming the challenges provided by a large number of people gathered together accessing both the network all at once across the various floors.”

Technology clubbers will come to expect?

Murtagh said he hopes the innovation will spur more venues to invest in cutting-edge technology savvy clubbers will come to expect as they connect, not just in the same venue but with their online social network on a night out.

“Ogilvy Dublin is constantly searching for new ways to tap into and realise the power of social media and word-of-mouth marketing,” Kim Behan, account director at Ogilvy, explained.

“It is one of the first, if not the fist, experiential campaign in Ireland that utilised RFID technology, allowing consumers to share their experience live on Facebook. The results we have seen in terms of awareness and engagement are fantastic and VisionID were a crucial component in helping us to bring the technology to life,” Behan said.

John Kennedy