Rating: Still at proof-of-concept stage
UK rail m-ticketing specialist, Masabi, has revealed a proof-of-concept Android application called ‘Smart Card Buddy Beta’. The company claims the technology paves the way for smartcard (such as London’s Oyster card) ticket validation on low-cost smartphones and will allow passengers to buy rail tickets or ‘top-up’ credit for their smartcard on their handset rather than at a station. This facility is courtesy of its ability to read and display the contents of ITSO-based transport ticketing smartcards. Tom Godber, CTO with Masabi, said, “This proof of concept app shows that the new generation of NFC-enabled smartphones can operate as ticket readers thereby letting passengers and inspectors check what’s on a smartcard without the need for specialist hardware.”
He continued, “In the future, users could even buy tickets or credit for their smartcard using their phone.”
Although the proof of concept app is designed to operate with the ITSO smart card standard being used in the UK, it could be amended to be used with any NFC contactless technology.
ITSO is the UK’s national standard for enabling integrated and interoperable smart ticketing and is being employed by transport operators such as Go-Ahead, Stagecoach and Newport Transport as well as in schemes in Scotland, Wales, Greater Manchester, Leicestershire and Cheshire.
Masabi’s mobile ticketing technology allows passengers to search for train times and buy tickets which can then be either picked-up at stations, displayed as an on-screen barcode or via in-built NFC.
This is the first application from Masabi’s Beta Labs programme.