There are countless times I’ve had to dig out my TigerCard, exasperated and frustrated, with my hands full of books, bags or food.
Almost every student swipes or scans their TigerCard at some point during the day. It is required to get food, workout, check out books or enter dorms or labs.
The TigerCard works, but it’s a bit of an archaic hassle.
The first step toward improvement would be a proximity card.
This system, which is common at other universities, such as the University of Texas at Austin, would replace the magnetic strip and make scenarios involving the TigerCard much less of a hassle.
The card doesn’t need to be taken out; it just needs to be nearby a reader. A student could have the card in their bag to open a door.
Another way to bring a simpler system of monetary exchange to campus would be to use smart cards through the use of near field technology.
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NFC is becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday technology and on campuses. It allows wireless communication between devices, and the most exciting application is digitizing payment in smart phones.
The TigerCard could have this capability if it went mobile.
Students with NFC-enabled phones would only need their smart phone to gain access to facilities or pay for goods.
I cannot say what barriers exist in Auburn that have thus far prevented the adoption of a smart TigerCard or even of the already widespread proximity cards.
Auburn stands to benefit financially by updating. Staffing and administrative costs would be reduced.
Dorm swipe access devices could be proximity enabled, and for some of the NFC payment services, any existing magnetic swipe payment device is automatically enabled.
We’d love a proactive Auburn. Technology and innovation is what a higher institution should celebrate and embrace, right?
Auburn is behind the curve, part of the minority of schools using old ID card technology.
It wouldn’t be difficult to make this change. The technology is already there.
Rachel can be reached at intrigue@ThePlainsman.com.
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