The latest development of mobile phones and open standard operating systems makes it possible to use a mobile phone as a validation device. The software will be downloaded to an Android camera phone and inspectors can use the phone to validate a mobile ticket. Hence, separate devices are not needed anymore, just a normal price Android phone for a couple of hundred of euros.
With stationary and handheld units the following benefits can be achieved:
- Validation is based on reading normal textual SMS (no need for bar codes requiring binary SMS or MMS)
- Work conditions of bus drivers and ticket inspectors are much improved
- Ticket has both visual and machine readable validation options
- Validators provide boarding information
- Validators can be used to automatically control gates and turnstiles
Plusdial Mobile Ticketing service can be connected to an automatic validation technology that is based on scanning and interpreting characters of normal SMS messages, instead of barcodes or other special graphical symbols. With use of textual SMS, many problems occurring with bar code or data matrix solutins can be avoided: First of all, there is no need to adjust the graphical symbols according to huge variety of mobile phone display models with various resolutions or possible issues with cotnrast and luminosity. Even the best solutions, using bar code or data matrix, have not been able to validate more than 70-80 % of the different mobile phone model displays. Second, both human readable ticket information (ticket type, validity area and time, price etc.) and both the mahcine readable and visual control codes can be included in one text message, without the need to use separate binary SMS or the more expensive MMS.
Today, the readers are available both as handheld units for ticket inspectors and train conductors and as stationary units. The stationary units are designed for mounting in vehicles or at metro/underground gates. Plusdial has several interfaces available for connecting automatic validation services into its mobile ticketing service. It is also possible to increase the number of automatic validators needed step by step and to have automatic validators only in limited parts of the public transport traffic network, e.g. at interchanging points or at metro entrance/exit gates only.
Plusdial follows the market development and cooperates with all potential automatic validation service providers.
Please ask more information at info[at]plusdial.net.