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Smart Cards and Their Wide Applicability

Of late, digital cards have become a growing industry. They have immense uses in the present time and are used extensively in almost every domain of life. These electronic cards have gained popularity due to their wide application. They have made their presence felt in almost every field including payphones, banking and retail, communication, security control and many more. With the use of Internet and e commerce, smart cards have gained momentum and there are a plethora of usages.

In this day and age, it has become quite impossible to move out, shop or even eat without having a smart card. Digital cards have indeed become an integral part of our lives since they are easy to carry along and use. These portable cards have made life much easier than it used to be before. They serve as reliable identification cards and are absolutely safe to use. In this article, we will throw light on the prime uses of smart cards, which are mentioned below:

Payphones

There are several countries where payphones are well equipped with card readers. Their benefit to the phone companies is that they are not required to collect coins and also they get timely payment in the most convenient manner. People like to use their electronic phone cards at payphones, because they need not keep their eyes on their wallet every time to see if they have adequate money or not.

Banking and Retailing

Smart banking cards have multiple uses. They can be used as debit cards, credit cards or store value cards. Smart bank cards also serve as a good personal identification proof. There is an intelligent microchip on the smart card as well as on the card reader that secures the interest of users, merchants as well as bank. Of late, these cards have given impetus to loyalty programs.

Security Control

Every organization whether school or private firm needs some form of security control. Though there are several kinds of security control measures, but smart id cards are considered to be better than the rest, as they operate offline as well. A smart id card authenticates a person’s identity and is extensively used in schools and offices nowadays. It also gives an access to individuals such as students in restricted areas. They can easily enter computer rooms by showing their smart id cards on the smart card reader.

Mobile Phone Communication

Smart cards have great use in the field of mobile phone communication. For GSM digital mobile phones, these cards make a wonderful identification device. They store every bit of information to bill the user. Also, these cards enable the user to make calls from any phone terminal.

Health Care Services

Smart health cards give accessibility to the patients’ case history. Information is properly stored and can be accessed at any point of time. Health care professionals access patients’ information, which is stored on their smart cards, and update the same in their official records. Smart medical cards also pave way for instant insurance processing. In fact, nowadays doctors and nurses also carry smart identification cards that enable them to do multi level information accessing.

E-commerce

Digital cards are widely used for performing a host of electronic commercial transactions. You can buy articles of your choice over the Internet. You can get the tickets booked via Internet by means of a smart card. You can order flowers, birthday gifts and do a lot more by using your smart card as a credit card or debit card. Smart cards have great use in service industries, as you can easily make payments online for services provided by the other party.

To conclude, smart card has become the buzzword in present times and almost every person has at least one type.

Pros and Cons of a Smart Car

When people are thinking about making an expensive buying decision, especially with something as new and unusual as the smart car, they often want to know the pros and cons of the various options they are considering. This article will examine the pros and cons of a smart car.

There is no doubt that the smart fortwo car has its passionate supporters. Before it arrived in the United States in 2007, it had already enjoyed wild success in Europe over several years. But with its small size, there are also a number of concerns.

Pros of a Smart Car

There are many benefits to be considered; don’t let its small size fool you!

  • Environmentally-friendly. Not only is this small car fuel-efficient, averaging around 40 mpg, but it has several other environmentally-friendly features as well. The smart fortwo car uses innovative energy-efficient and recyclable materials in its construction. In fact, 95% of the vehicle is recyclable and the dash material is made from recycled synthetics.
  • Easy to park and drive. The smart car has a very small footprint. At less than 9 feet long, it’s nearly 3 feet shorter than the already diminutive Mini Cooper. Of course, a big reason for that is that it’s only a 2-seater. But the short size means this car is super easy to park, especially in tight spots or short spots where other cars wouldn’t fit. It’s also got a great turning radius that makes it very maneuverable.
  • Appearance. No one can argue that the smart fortwo car is not unique in its design and appearance. See one, and you will never forget it, whether you like it or not! Many people’s first impression is that it is just so darn cute. When Mercedes Benz brought the smart fortwo car to the United States, they updated its image to be more cutting edge, with more chrome, a bit longer hood section and updated headlights and dashboard area. You can also change out the plastic body panels to give it a whole new color, or purchase a car wrap with some kind of unique print or design on it.
  • Safety design. Most people’s first reaction when they see this tiny car is something along the lines of, “How could such a small car be safe on the road” However, what make the smart car so unique is Mercedes Benz attention to safety. From the innovative tridion safety cell, a sort of safety cage, to its 4 airbags and advanced braking system, the smart car is built for safety. Crash tests have consistently proved Mercedes’ safety claims. Anecdotal evidence, as published on the safeandsmart.com website, also supports those claims.
  • Surprisingly roomy inside. Another surprising benefit of the smart car is its interior roominess. There is plenty of leg room for both driver and passenger. Head room is great too, with men as tall as 6’6″ fitting in the driver’s seat comfortably. The cargo area is also quite roomy for a small car. We fit a 50-pound black lab and 2 other dogs in our hatch when we go hiking. And we’ve toted home as many as 8 grocery bags and a case of soda when we go food shopping.
  • Perfect commuter car. The smart fortwo car was originally designed as a “city car” for crowded European city-dwellers, and that is its greatest value in the United States, as well. It makes a great commuter car, with its roominess, solid gas mileage and zippy performance on the roads, not to mention ease of parking.

Cons of a Smart Car

Of course, no car is perfect for everyone, and this one is no exception. It does have a few features that could be improved, as well as some aspects that just make it the wrong choice for certain people.

  • Size vs. other cars on the highway. Despite its considerable safety features, there is no question that the smart car is much smaller than just about every other vehicle on the highway. So, there is a good chance that if you are involved in an accident with a big SUV or truck, you might come out the loser. However, there are accounts of smart cars faring better than other larger vehicles in an accident. One advantage of its small footprint is that it might be able to avoid collisions that a larger vehicle could not.
  • No cruise control. As mentioned above, the smart car was designed as a commuter, in-town type of car. Perhaps that’s why, despite a number of other high-end features, it lacks a cruise control option. If you do plan to travel in it or your commute involves highway driving, chances are you are going to miss having cruise control.
  • Unusual transmission. Smart cars have what is termed an “automated manual transmission.” What that means is that you have an option between going completely automatic or using a modified manual transmission. Most people find that keeping it in automatic means slightly sluggish gear shifting. That is easily remedied, however, by switching to the automated manual mode. This is a clutch-less manual transmission, meaning you are in charge of using the stick shift or paddle shifters on the steering wheel to switch gears, but you don’t have to coordinate with a clutch. The manual mode is super easy to use, even if you’ve never driven a stick shift before, and provides for a much zippier gear-shifting experience.
  • Limited passenger seating and cargo space. Smart cars only have 2 seats – the driver’s seat and one passenger seat. So they’re not meant to be family cars. And while the cargo hatch area is surprisingly roomy, it is still less than 8 cubic feet. So you won’t be hauling any lumber or large pieces of furniture in it.
  • Gas mileage could be higher. For such a small car, you might expect the gas mileage to be much higher. However, the smart car was rated the most fuel-efficient gas-powered car in the United States by the EPA in 2010. And even at 40 MPG, it is considerably more fuel-efficient than most light trucks and SUVs on the road today.
  • Requires premium fuel. The smart car requires premium fuel, which can be pricey, because of its small engine size. Smaller engines tend to perform better with a higher grade of fuel. You might consider its gas mileage to be the trade-off for the pricier gas.

In weighing the pros of a smart car against the cons, I find the pros win. For what it’s designed to be — a commuter vehicle for 1 or 2 people — the smart car is a great value with many added benefits. Could it be better? Sure, as with most products, there is definitely room for improvement. But, if you want a forward-thinking, unique and fuel-efficient small car, then I would definitely encourage you to consider the smart fortwo car.

Answers to Your Top 5 Smart Car Questions

Smart cars have been driving the streets of Europe for some time now, but when they first started to hit the United States in 2008, it sparked a lot of interest and also tons of questions. People who spotted this funny looking little car on the street and in parking lots wanted to know where the car came from and could it possibly be safe?

This article answers some of the most common questions fielded about the United States version of the smart car.

1. What is the smart car?

First and foremost, this small car is designed to be a commuter car that is fun to drive and that gets good gas mileage. The smart for two is a very roomy two-seater hatchback with a spacious cargo area in the rear. Funny looking, yes, but surprisingly functional.

The smart fortwo was created out of a partnership between Mercedes Benz and the maker of Swatch watches in response the need for a small European urban commuter car. The car was later adapted to American needs and technical specifications, as rising gas prices stimulated more interest in fuel-efficient cars here in the U.S.

2. Can such a small car possibly be safe on U.S. roads with all the trucks and sport utility vehicles?

The answer to this question, is: “Yes, definitely!” In fact, the smart car safety profile is an extremely positive one. The smart for two has a number of safety features that are standard on all 3 models sold in the U.S. When Mercedes Benz designed the American version of this car, their first priority was safety.

From the tridion safety call, a sort of steel cage that surrounds driver and passenger, to an advanced anti-lock braking system, everything in the smart is designed to keep you safe on the roads, even in the event of an accident. The smart has received high safety ratings from independent safety testing authorities such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

3. What kind of mileage does the smart car get?

You would imagine such a small car would get great gas mileage, right? After all, isn’t that the point of downsizing to such a small vehicle? The smart fortwo car is rated at 33 MPG in the city and 41 MPG on the highway. While these figures might be lower than anticipated, they are still a big improvement over the mileage that your typical pickup truck, SUV or luxury car gets.

This mileage is considered best in class, when the smart is compared to other non-hybrid vehicles in the United States. Currently, there is no hybrid version of the smart car available, but an all electric drive model is currently in production and will be hitting the U.S. sometime in 2011. That will obviously be a much more fuel-efficient model.

4. How easy is it to drive a smart car?

If you’ve heard that the smart fortwo is equipped with something called an automated manual transmission, you might be wondering how hard it is to drive. Is shifting involved? What about a clutch? Here is the good news: Although smarts do have the ability to shift gears manually, no clutch is involved. It’s truly as easy as pushing/pulling paddle levers on the steering wheel, or clicking the gear shift.

If even that is too much work for you, you can opt to let the smart car’s transmission take over. It will automatically shift gears up and down for you as you accelerate and decelerate on the road. Putting it into automatic mode can make shifting a bit sluggish however, so most drivers opt for the manual route.

5. How can I buy a smart fortwo car of my own?

When people first started spotting smarts in the U.S. back in 2008, they were hard to come by. There was an 18-month waiting list at the few smart car dealers that were open. Over time, though, more and more dealerships came on board and the manufacturing caught up with the waiting list. Gas prices also came down somewhat, so that lessened the demand.

Today, there are somewhere around 70 dealerships across the United States. Most states in the east, south, midwest and west coast have at least one dealership. The rest of the west is more sparsely covered. For example, if you lived in a small city like Boise, Idaho, you might have to drive 5 hours to Salt Lake City to find your closest smart car dealer.

We may see a smart fortwo waiting list arise again when the new electric drive smart arrives later on in 2011. Only 9 dealerships will be selling this model initially, so getting your hands on one might be a challenge.

Exactly How To Make Certain Your Organization Will Do Well Versus The Competition

Corporations need to stay competing. They will need to ensure they are able to do nearly as much as or perhaps a lot more than competing businesses in order to make sure they will obtain the work from their own customers. Companies who wish to remain ahead of the game may want to make certain they will acquire added instruction for their staff members. This will have a huge number of advantages for the workers as well as for the business. Business owners who obtain scientific molding training for their particular personnel make certain their knowledge is actually totally updated.

Workers who experience further education will probably be far more knowledgeable, more comfortable with their particular careers, as well as better able to work together with their co-workers. The extra understanding they will gain may make it much easier for them to do their job as well as can help them to work more quickly with a lesser number of concerns. They’re in addition most likely going to appreciate the added instruction as it demonstrates they are valued by the organization. After they understand much more with regards to the jobs and the responsibilities associated with molding, they can also work far better with their particular coworkers as they will all know exactly what the other person has to accomplish as well as might help in case any individual needs it.

Immediately after the scientific molding seminars, businesses may see quite a few benefits also. The employees will know precisely what to accomplish to be able to increase productivity, lessen outages from issues with the machine, as well as restrict the amount of waste material which is produced. This all adds up to quite a bit and also allows the business to handle much more projects. It also lets them complete projects faster and also with far better accuracy, meaning their own clientele will go back to them again and again, and also stay away from going to contending companies for their own jobs.

Overall, scientific molding classes could be amazingly helpful for employees and also companies. It enables the businesses to continue to be competitive and also to continue to undertake more work. The more experienced the personnel are, the better the company will run. If perhaps you would like to find out a lot more with regards to the benefits or even enroll in additional education for your current staff members, look at the injection molding training today. There are classes to fit any kind of schedule, so you are going to be able to find precisely what you have to have.

Are You Smart Enough For A Smart Phone?

Get ready, the smart phone might just be the next
“Must Have” tech device. Don’t laugh, this may be more
true than many of us realize or would like to believe.

Why?

Mainly because the smart phone fulfills our ever increasing
need for a mobile device that gives us all the features of
a laptop/internet/phone in one small package. We want it all
and we want it small. Go figure!

For regardless of the size of our brain cells, we all need a
small communication device that keeps us constantly connected no
matter where we are. Connected to friends, family or business
via a phone and the Internet. Totally connected to our lives
and our sense of “self”.

So will you pass the smart test when it comes to smart phones?
Or are you still scratching your head, wondering why you would
need another techno gizmo cluttering up your life?

If you’re still wondering, here are seven reasons or factors why it
would be smart for you to consider getting a smart phone.

1. PDA and Cell Phone Combo

A smart phone is really a combination of a cell phone and
a pda. You get the best of both worlds: a cell phone and
the functions of a pda in one simple small device. Smart
phones can come in different designs: candy-bar, clamshell,
slider and flipper.

A smart phone offers many pda-like features but keep in
mind it is still more like a mobile phone than a dedicated
PDA, which offers larger screens and more applications.
A PDA is more like a small computer or laptop than a cell
phone.

As technology becomes faster and smaller one can expect
smart phones to become more like a dedicated PDA, offering
more applications and more functions of a conventional
handheld in a smaller package.

2. Mobile Convenience

Perhaps the greatest advantage of having a smart phone
is the mobility it gives you. You can stay in constant
contact with all your friends, family or work.
For mobile professionals it can be a very convenient and
practical way to stay in contact with your work.

3. Laptop Mini-Me

The smart phone and especially the Pda phone can be
a simple laptop that you can take anywhere. This device
can take the place of a small laptop keeping you connected
via phone and the Internet to all the information you need.
Extremely useful for students and in-the-field professionals
such as real-estate agents, builders, architects…

Although they are slightly different creatures, the line
between a Pda Phone and a Smart Phone is blurring real fast.
Smart phones are usually smaller and offer less features
than a Pda phone which is more related to a PDA (Personal
Digital Assistant) or a Handheld PC.

4. Entertain Me

Increasingly, these smart and pda phones come equipped
with countless games, MP3, camera, video… all to
entertain you. Important on those long plane or car
trips with unexpected stop-overs. Also great to keep
any complaining off-spring totally enthralled and
completely oblivious to their surroundings for hours
at a time. Save big on your headache meds by getting
a smart phone for little junior or little miss!

5. The Lost Factor

Just admit it, we have all been lost at some time in our
lives. Now you don’t have to be; many of these smart
pda phones come with a GPS system to keep you in touch
with your location at all times. Become totally
grounded with a smart phone!

6. The Cool Factor

There has to be something said about style; these
smart phones are sleek and stylist. Fashion should
not be a reason to buy a smart phone but sadly it
will be a major factor for many who do buy one.

7. The iPhone Factor

You can expect the “Cool” factor to leap-jump when
the iPhone hits the market. The iPhone may do for
smart phones what the iPod did for MP3 players.
Hey, there is nothing cooler than an Apple anything!

Besides the cool factor, the iPhone will probably
revolutionize how we perceive and look at smart phones.
It will elevate the smart phone to unheard of heights
and place it center stage in our lives.

Most of us will be smart enough to quickly grab one of
these techno marvels. How about you? Will you be smart
enough to get a smart phone or will you take the opposite
route?

While you’re making up your mind, just remember you
don’t have to be an Einstein to appreciate the
smart phone. Nor does being a prime candidate for
the next Jackass video necessarily rule you out
— everyone can benefit from having a smart phone.

Week in the Life of a Football Supporter With a Resident’s Smart Card

Part 1 of 8

BACKGROUND

Our fan Sam, is a typical family man looking to improve his future prospects. He is thirtysomething and married with two young children. He lives with his family in rented accommodation with the local council appointed housing association. He works full time 9-5 with the local council as an HR officer and is also a part-time mature student studying Business Management two evenings per week.

Sam goes to almost every home game and around 5 away games per season, but he is not a season ticket holder. He cant afford the one-off cost and does not know about the budget plan payment terms. He usually meets a friend at a local pub before home games, as he believes it is too expensive to eat and drink in the stadium.

Sam has a ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card issued by the local football club as part of a joint venture with the local council. The card is a Football Club Membership Card with a closed purse, a payment facility that is only valid in the stadium and the club’s retail outlets (a closed purse owned and operated by or on behalf of the club can generate hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional income and efficiency gains).

The ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card also allows payment by Europay / MasterCard / Visa (EMV) and is Local Authority Smart card Standards e-Organisation (LASSeO) & Integrated Transport Standards Organisation (ITSO) compliant. This means that it can be used to gain access to council provided services and on local transport. The card has also been developed and encoded in accordance with the emerging Standards for Smart Card Technology in Stadia.

MONDAY

Sam logs on to the club’s website and checks the fixtures for the coming month. He decides to purchase two tickets for tomorrow nights cup game, when he will take a friend from work who has never been before. Sam simply enters his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card number into the purchase screen. He chooses to pay for the ticket with the EMV payment. Once the purchase is complete Sam check his Loyalty points balance and it has increased by 200 (100 per ticket). He chooses the ‘print at home’ option, prints both barcoded tickets and then sets off for work.

The bus arrives. Sam gets on and presents his ‘Residents and Supporters’ card, which stores his ITSO compliant monthly bus ticket to the reader.

At work Sam uses his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card at the office building access control reader. This allows him to open the main entrance door. Because the card also acts as Sam’s staff pass it also has his photo and gives him access to his office and other relevant areas in the building. At lunchtime Sam is busy so he decides to eat at the staff restaurant. Most staff have council issued cards for Access ID and to pay for food but Sam’s can use his ‘Residents and Supporters’ card in all council staff restaurants. However, the e-purse used in council restaurants does not allow Sam to accru points, unlike the other e-purse also on the card.

At 17:00 Sam leaves the office and travels home on the bus again using his ‘Residents and Supporters’ card, which stores his ITSO compliant monthly bus ticket.

Monday is one of the two nights a week that Sam attends a part-time course held at the football club conference centre.

Sam drives to the stadium and presents his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to the parking barrier. This opens as the CRM system tells it that Sam is Studying tonight so is entitled to free parking. Once the evenings study is over Sam leaves the car park using the ‘Residents and Supporters’ card to open the exit barrier.

When Sam gets home he checks his Loyalty Points balance again and sees that he received 50 point for attending college, as is part of a local ‘Self Development’ programme run by the council and supported by local businesses.

Number of uses of the ‘Residents and Supporters’ card. (10)

Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Resident’s Smart Card

Part 2 of 8

TUESDAY

Sam follows his usual routine using the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card on the bus and to access his office building. At lunch time he goes in to the local library and borrows a book relating to his Business Management course. He uses the self-service desk and presents the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to register the loan of the books, as the card also acts as a library card.

Sam decides to go straight to the football club from the office and meets his friend outside the stadium. Sam realises that he has forgotten his ticket, but is not concerned as he simply goes to the club shop where they read his card and confirm he was issued with a valid ticket. They then validate the access control system to accept the card. (In reality Sam did not need to do this as when he used the card to ID himself online the previous day when purchasing the tickets, the card and the barcoded ticket were automatically added to the access control system as valid for entry for this game. The system however would only accept the first form i.e. card or ticket for entry, once one form had been used the second would be automatically rendered void this is for security and revenue protection purposes.)

Sam’s friend arrives and they both enter the stadium Sam with the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card and his friend with his own barcoded ticket. In the stadium Sam and friend both get a drink and something to eat. As Sam has the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card he goes straight to the cashless payment queue which is shorter than the cash queue. To boost take-up of the new ‘Residents and Supporters’ card there is a discount on all products when paying with the pre pay e-purse. Sam pays using the closed e-purse and he is served quicker than his friend who is paying with cash. Sam also saves money. Sam then receives a text message from the football club Events Team thanking him for entering the stadium early and offers him a BOGOFF (Buy One Get One For Free) offer on the new line in pasties from a local bakers if he uses his closed e-purse for payment.

Sam and friend watch the first half during which Sam tops up his e-purse on his ‘Residents and Supporters” smart card by text message Then at half time he takes advantage of the BOGOFF offer.

After the match friend Sam uses his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card for the bus journey home. At home Sam checks his loyalty account and sees a total of 125 new points from his purchases and because he entered the stadium early.

Number of uses of the ‘Residents and Supporters’ card. (10)

Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Resident’s Smart Card.

Part 3 of 8

Wednesday

Sam follows his usual routine into work using the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card on the bus and to access his office building. Today is Sam’s birthday the football club CRM texts his mobile phone a 2-4-1 offer to eat in the restaurant at the stadium. To take advantage of this offer Sam meets his wife for lunch at the stadium. The offer also states that if he pays for the meal with the closed purse on his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card he will receive treble loyalty points. Sam tops up his e-purse on his “Residents and Supporters” smart card by text message. Sam redeems the 2-4-1 offer and pays for the meal with the closed e-purse on his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card.

When Sam returns to work he uses the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to access his office building.

After work Sam decides to go to the gym he uses his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card for the bus journey and once at the gym, which is a council leisure centre. Sam uses the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to gain entry to the leisure centre as it is also holds his membership details. Sam uses smart card inside the leisure centre to register his use of the gym and again to use of the swimming pool. Sam then travels home on the bus using the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card.

At home Sam logs on to the clubs website and checks the balance on his loyalty account. He discovers that he has an additional 350 points for topping up, paying in the restaurant and also a bonus for his birthday. Sam has also been given additional points for participating on one physical activity at the gym, this is a PCT initiative to promote healthy living and combat obesity and help reduce the pressure on the local NHS. The scheme is supported by the local council and the football club.

Number of uses of the ‘Residents and Supporters’ card.(14)

Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Resident’s Smart Card.

Part 4 of 8

Thursday

Sam follows his usual routine into work using the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card on the bus and to access his office building.

At lunch time Sam goes to town and buys a CD from a local music store and some accessories for his car from a national motor factors retailer using the EMV payment on his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card.

Sam has study leave in the afternoon and travel home on the bus using his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card, and collects his Business Management course books and course work. At home Sam logs on to the clubs website and checks the balance on his loyalty account and discovers that he has an additional 160 points for the EMV transactions at the local music store and the national motor factors retailer. As these transactions are using the EMV payment facility they attract a slightly lower rate of points than transactions using the pre pay e-purse on the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card.

As Sam is registered as a mature student studying at the stadium he is allowed free access to the WiFI within the stadium conference suite. Sam drives to the stadium early, for his second study night of the week, as he is meeting a study buddy there. On arrival at the stadium Sam presents his ‘Residents and Supporters’ card to the parking barrier which opens as it knows from the CRM that Sam is studying tonight and is entitled to free parking. Sam uses the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to log on to the network using dual factor authentication and the system recognises Sam is registered with a sight impairment and has stored visual preferences to help him read the text. The system is set to Sam’s preferences. This same function could be used to change language for those whose first language is not English.

Once the evenings study is over Sam leaves the car park again using the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to open the exit barrier.

When Sam gets home he again checks his Loyalty Points balance and sees that, just as he did on Monday evening he received 50 point for attending college, this is part of a local ‘Self Development’ programme run by the council and supported by local businesses.

Number of uses of the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card (12)

Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Resident’s Smartcard.

Part 5 of 8

Friday

Sam follows his usual routine into work using the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card on the bus and to access his office building.

At lunch time Sam goes to the councils ‘One Stop Shop’ to apply for Free School Meals for his 2 children. He uses a public PC and presents his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to the reader which identifies him asks for a secret word (2 Factor Authentication). As Sam is registered with a sight impairment on the council’s public facing system his visual impairment preferences are read from the card and the councils public facing system is set to Sam’s preferences.

As the councils CRM already holds many pieces of information required for the Free School Meals Entitlement Form some information there has been automatically completed i.e. Name. DoB, Address, Contact details etc. This is called Auto Form Fill. Sam check the auto populated data is correct, completes the rest of the form and returns to work.

After work Sam decides to go to the gym he uses the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card for the bus journey and once at the gym, which is a council leisure centre Sam uses the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart cardto gain entry to the centre as it is also his membership card for the leisure centre. Sam also uses the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card inside the leisure centre to register his use of the gym and again use of the swimming pool. Sam then travels home on the bus using the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card for the journey home.

Sam makes the weekly shopping list and then drives to the local supermarket where he pays for the shopping with the EMV payment option on his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card.

When Sam gets home he again checks his Loyalty Points balance and he has received points of using the Gym and paying for the weekly shopping.

Number of uses of the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card. (11)

Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Resident’s Smart Card.

Part 6 of 8

Saturday

Today is a top of the table clash. Sam is taking his son Thomas to the game and it is his first game of the season. Sam and Thomas drive to the town centre and Sam parks the car in a council managed Pay and Display car park. As a resident of the borough Sam is entitled to a discount on parking charges Sam presents the card to the parking machine and receives his discount.

Then Sam takes Thomas to the Club Shop in town centre and redeems some of the loyalty points he has been accruing and receives a home shirt for Thomas.

It is still early and Sam takes Thomas to the local museum to research a topic that Thomas is studying at school. The ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card entitles Sam to a half price entry but as there is no card reader in the museum Sam simply shows his card. This type of ‘Show n Go’ discount scheme operates in a number of places in the town also and helps local small businesses, this initiative is backed by the councils local regeneration scheme.

Then Sam goes to a local shop that is a Pay Point agent to pay his Rent and Council Tax as he does not have a direct debit set up. At the shop Sam pays cash but presents his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to the reader to identify him and allocate the funds to the right amounts to the correct Rent and Council Tax accounts.

It is now time for Sam and Thomas to go to the stadium and as it is close and a sunny day they decide to hire one of the public cycles in the town. Sam knows that the football club are part of this ‘Fit 4 Life’ initiative operated by the Council and backed by the local PCT as it is part of the Football Clubs ‘Green Travel Plan’. At the automated cycle store Sam presents his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to the reader and releases an adult cycle for himself and does the same for a junior cycle for Thomas. They both cycle 2 miles to the stadium where they store and lock the cycles in a storage facility located in the stadia car park, which is similar to the one in town. The locking mechanism is also operated by the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card, which if applicable is also used for payment but not in this case as the system recognises that Sam is entitled to free use.

Sam takes Thomas to the ticket office to buy him a barcoded paper match day ticket and after payment Sam’s ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card is set to be his ticket. He presents his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to collect the loyalty points, but he pays for the ticket in cash. When the ticket office take Thomas’ personal details for the ticket purchase they see that although this is his first match this season, he did attend 6 matches last season and travelled to an away FA Cup tie with the Official Supporters Club. They offer Thomas the chance to join the Junior Supporters Club at a discount which will give him his own supporters card. As Sam is already a ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card holder Junior Supporters Club Membership is free for a limited period. Thomas applies and Sam is given an immediate discount on Thomas’ match day ticket.

Sam and Thomas the go to the turnstiles and both enter the stadium; Sam with his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card and Thomas with his own barcoded ticket. In the stadium Sam buys them both a drink and a burger using the closed e-purse on the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card as again that queue is much shorter than the cash queue and they get a discount.

Sam and Thomas watch the first half during which Sam gets a text message welcoming Thomas to the Junior Supporters Club and giving a promotional code for Thomas, two friends and a responsible adult to have a free stadium tour. All Thomas has to do is have his parents complete an online form with names, addresses and ages of the 4 people attending the tour. Sam also tops up the e-purse on his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card by text message. At half time both Sam and Thomas get a cold drink from the kiosk where Sam again uses the closed e-purse on the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card, is served very quickly and saves money.

After the match friend Sam uses the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card to unlock the cycles for the ride back to town to collect the car.

At home Sam registers himself Thomas and two friends for the tour using the promotional code in the text message. As he is a ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card holder he will be given Loyalty Points if anyone in the party makes a purchase and if they become season ticket holders Sam and Thomas will be invited to meet their favourite player. Sam then checks his loyalty account and sees a total of 225 new points from the purchases and entering the stadium early.

Number of uses of the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card. (16)

Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Resident’s Smart Card.

Part 7 of 8

Sunday

Sam and Thomas look at the pictures of the match yesterday on the Football Club’s website. Thomas has received an email with his membership details and he sets up his account.

Sam finds a replica shirt from the early eighties which he adds to the ‘wish list’ on his Loyalty account so that when he has enough points he will get an automatic reminder by email and text. There was also an option for the shirt to be automatically sent to him when he had enough points and the Loyalty points redeemed automatically but he didn’t choose it.

It is sunny and Sam has an exciting day planned for the family. In the morning he takes the family to a local petting zoo and country park. The park is operated by the county council and there is a small charge, but as Sam is a ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card holder he and his family enjoy free admission.

In the afternoon Sam and the family go to the football stadium to attend a music event with a number of big name performers. The tickets were part of Sam’s birthday present from his parents. Sam was made aware of the event from a text message and an email that was sent by the clubs CRM. Sam’s ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card was used during the transaction to get a discount and loyalty points.

Sam and his family the go to the turnstiles and enter the stadium Sam with the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card and the rest of the family with barcoded tickets. In the stadium Sam buys them food and drinks using the closed e-purse on the ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card and as always the queue is much shorter than the cash queue and he also gets a discount.

After the event the Sam takes the family home. On the way home Sam get fuel at a small local petrol station and uses the EMV payment method on his ‘Residents and Supporters’ smart card and gets some more loyalty points.

Number of uses of the ‘Residents and Supporters smart card. (9)

Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Resident’s Smart Card.

Part 8 of 8

Summary, Conclusions and Next Steps

The previous 7 parts and this final conclusion of a ‘Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Residents Smart Card’ demonstrate very clearly how a single card can provide access to many different services and activities delivered by multiple providers from both public and private sectors.

This is not theory; every one of the applications below is a live application in a scheme in the UK. This document ‘Week in the Life of a Football Supporter with a Residents Smart Card’ simply brings them all together on the one card.

LIST OF APPLICATIONS USED

  • Logical Access – Home PC
  • EMV Payment – (Europay/MasterCard/ Visa)
  • Access Control – Council Building access
  • Council specific – e-Purse
  • Access Control – Parking
  • Loyalty
  • Library Membership – Local Authority
  • Staff ID
  • Access Control – Football Stadia
  • Ticketing – Football match day or season
  • Football Club Specific – e-Purse, Cashless in the Stadia and Shop.
  • Football Club Membership
  • Leisure Club Membership – Local Authority
  • Access Control – Leisure
  • Network ID – Higher Education / Learning Resource
  • PC Accessibility – SNAPI
  • Auto Form Fill
  • Concessions – Transport
  • Parking – Local Authority
  • Bill Payment – CTax / Rent
  • Entitlement – Cycle Hire

NUMBER OF USES

  • Monday 10
  • Tuesday 10
  • Wednesday 14
  • Thursday 12
  • Friday 11
  • Saturday 16
  • Sunday 9
  • Total for the week 82
  • Average daily use 11.7

BENEFITS

To discover the operational and financial benefits of such a scheme for your organisation please contact info@smartstadia.com. Below is a list of the typical benefits that Football Clubs and Local Authorities have realised.

  • More Customer Data
  • Better Quality Customer Data
  • Improved Know Your Customer Capability
  • More Effective CRM Campaign Development
  • Better CRM Campaign Management
  • Increased Revenue (potentially £300+ per season for a Football Club)
  • Reduces Costs
  • Greater Efficiency
  • Leaner Overall Service Delivery
  • Richer Customer Experience
  • Improver Customer Loyalty
  • Fewer Debtor Days
  • Faster Payment
  • Improved Cash Flow
  • New Revenue Streams
  • Peer Envy
  • Greener Operations
  • Improved Community Reputation

This is not an exhaustive list, but a good example of what a smart card scheme like this can do for your organisation. If you don’t think your Chief Executive would like you to deliver any of the above benefits then we will simply thank you for reading and advise you to stop reading now.

4 Reasons to Try SMART Recovery If 12 Step Meetings Aren’t Your Thing

Today we are highlighting treatment resources for substance abuse and addictions. While the general public may be aware of Twelve Step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), there are other alternatives. SMART Recovery® is one such organization that is gaining popularity.

This is taken directly from their website:

SMART Recovery® is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Our participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups.

The SMART Recovery® 4-Point Program® helps people recover from all types of addiction and addictive behaviors, including: drug abuse, drug addiction, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction, prescription drug abuse, sexual addiction, and problem addiction to other substances and activities. SMART Recovery® sponsors face-to-face meetings around the world, and daily online meetings. In addition, our online message board and 24/7 chat room are excellent forums to learn about SMART Recovery® and obtain addiction recovery support. If you’re new to SMART Recovery®, get started with our introduction here.”

As someone who has been to literally hundreds of NA meetings over the past ten years but who is also a trained mental health counselor, SMART Recovery® appeals to me in ways that NA does not. For the record, if NA or AA work for you, then by all means keep doing it. But for me, some of the ideals that NA holds sacred are the ones that I find most difficult to accept as a practicing clinician. Here are 4 ways that SMART Recovery® is different:

1. It’s okay to have a mental illness.

When I was new to recovery, I just assumed that everybody who was in recovery also had a mental illness. This is called dual-diagnosis – basically, you are an addict AND you suffer from something like depression, anxiety, or bipolar. I was surprised to learn that this wasn’t the case. It’s probably a matter for debate, but I knew any number of recovering addicts who claimed that they had never experienced any mental health issues – aside from the addiction, of course, which invariably had ruined their lives. Moreover, I soon found that those addicts who did suffer from a mental illness were reluctant to admit it in the rooms. You would certainly talk about it with your sponsor, but these kinds of topics were considered controversial in a general meeting.

I never could understand why that seemed to be the case. I suspect it has something to do with NA’s belief in a Higher Power and the power of The Program. The idea is, if you’re working the program the way you should, your sanity should be restored and you get to be a productive member of society. Extremists in the groups would inevitably claim that you were not working the program to the best of your ability if you were still depressed or manic any of the other things that come with a mental illness. I suppose this is true for some, but it was certainly not the case for me.

SMART Recovery®, on the other hand, completely recognizes mental illness as a real thing, sometimes separate from the addiction but often times linked. They acknowledge “possible psychological factors” and members are treated accordingly. This just makes sense to me.

2. They support evidence based use of psychological treatments and the legal use of prescribed psychiatric medication.

This might be the single biggest difference between SMART Recovery® and NA. Both NA and AA make a point of separating themselves from “professional services.” It’s even against their guidelines to have trained clinicians involved in meetings. NA, for example, believes that “the therapeutic benefit of one addict helping another is without parallel.” That sounds great, and for many it’s true. Except when you think about it, you’re talking about one sick person, with no training, helping another sick person. Admittedly, this does work for many, but why is it a bad idea to use evidence based therapy or even prescribed medications in the fight against addiction and co-occurring mental illness? Many members of NA despise the very idea of medication, for any reason. Some would go as far as to say you are not working an honest program if you are using any drug, prescribed or otherwise. total abstinence from everything.

While it is perhaps not a good idea for a recovering heroin user to take narcotic pain killers when Advil would do, this belief gets a bit more murky when you start looking at mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. These are conditions which can absolutely be managed with medication and therapy, bu the bottom line is that some schizophrenics are completely unable to function without their medication. In an example like this, abstinence from all substances seems like a horrible idea. I attended NA meetings for years, and was under a doctor’s care the entire time for both severe anxiety and depression. I was prescribed medication for both. I told exactly zero people in NA about that part of my life. Not because I was ashamed, but because I didn’t want to be accused of “relapsing” when all I was doing was taking legally prescribed medications. This ended up being a major reason I eventually stopped attending meetings. Even as a licensed counselor, I’m hesitant to talk with people about psychotropic medications, as I’m not a medical doctor. I simply don’t think it’s a good idea to have completely untrained people give medical advice about anything. But that’s unfortunately what sometimes happens in the rooms of NA.

3. NA sees addiction an simple; SMART Recovery recognizes its complexity.

NA touts it’s program as a simple program for complicated people. That sounds like a great idea. Except that addiction is a complicated disease that gets further complicated when you try to oversimplify it.

Consider the following: Not all addicts are built the same way. I know many addicts in recovery who claim they can get addicted to anything – heroin, crack, sex, soap operas, you name it. I know others who had their one drug of choice and who never really had problems with anything else. I was one of those types of addicts. I had what can best be described as a psychological addiction to marijuana. In my past, I’ve tried many other drugs. None of them really interested me. To this day, I have a beer occasionally, but I can’t remember the last time I ever got drunk. I’ve also never been arrested or in trouble with the law, which for many addicts is the norm. All I’m saying is that we are not all alike. SMART Recovery® recognizes this. SMART Recovery® accepts that this is a complicated, multi-faceted disease. Some addicts require medication; some don’t. Some addicts require hospitalization; some don’t. Some addicts need therapy; others need accountability, direction, structure, or all of these things, or none.

4. SMART Recovery is based on science, not spirituality.

The following is taken from the SMART Recovery® FAQ section: SMART Recovery® has a scientific foundation, not a spiritual one. SMART Recovery® teaches increasing self-reliance, rather than powerlessness. SMART Recovery® meetings are discussion meetings in which individuals talk with one another, rather than to one another. SMART Recovery® encourages attendance for months to years, but probably not a lifetime. There are no sponsors in SMART Recovery®. SMART Recovery® discourages use of labels such as “alcoholic” or “addict.”

If you’ve never been to a 12 Step meeting, the differences might not be obvious to you. But the differences are profound. At an NA meeting, if I speak, I’m supposed to say “Hi my name is Randy, and I’m an addict.” It’s weird if you don’t. NA’s position is that we have to accept who we are, and I do agree with that. But is it possible that we can change? I think it is. But if I went to an NA meeting and said “Hi my name is Randy and I used to be an addict,” rest assured there would be drama.

Furthermore, the basic assumption with NA (and AA, for that matter) is that you attend those meetings FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Even if that is the right thing to do, how realistic do you suppose that is? Certainly some people do end up doing this, as addicts have a bad habit of dying young. SMART Recovery® on the other hand recognizes that at some point treatment has to stop. It’s just the way things are. Professional counseling these days is centered around brief therapies that are really not supposed to last for more than six months. If you’re seeing the same therapist five years later, you really have to ask yourself if any work is actually being done. Wouldn’t the same thing be true with NA?

Finally, powerlessness was an issue that I always had with NA. It’s also a HUGE part of their philosophy. We have to admit that we are powerless. Only then can we admit we need help. That’s true, but the problem is that people tend to use powerlessness as an excuse for all sorts of things. SMART Recovery® advocates self-reliance, which is the cornerstone of any modern treatment modality. If we are to get better, we will need to lean on others at first, but eventually, we are going to have to lead our own lives. In addition to this being a more realistic way of looking at things, it also has the benefit of being tue.

If you have found success in the rooms of NA or AA, then by all means, I want to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. It’s obviously working for you, so why change it? But if you are like me, and parts of NA or AA just don’t sit well with you, or you prefer a more scientifically-based approach to substance abuse treatment, check out SMART Recovery®. It’s free, they offer meetings both online and in person, and they even have an online chat feature if you have any questions or concerns. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, use whatever tools you have to fight this cunning and elusive disease. Check out SMART Recovery®.

Incipio Smart Feather Case – Best Smart Cover Compatible Cases for iPad 2

While Apple’s cover is a must-have for your iPad 2, not only because it puts your device to sleep when not in use to help preserve the battery, but because of its ability to clean and protect your iPad 2. While the Smart Cover does a great job, the only part of your iPad 2 that is protected is the screen. What you need is more protection for your entire iPad 2. Who wants dents, scratches, dirt and dust to find their way to your device? If you are looking for a great protective case that is compatible with your Smart Cover, then consider the Incipio Smart Feather Case for iPad 2.

By choosing the Smart Feather case, you can achieve a look of sleek and sexy versus big and bulky, with the assurance of dual protection from both the Smart Cover and case. The case protects the intricacies of your iPad 2, while the Smart Cover does its job to protect your screen.

Because the custom-designed Smart Feather is made to fit all the contours of the iPad 2, you’re guaranteed a snug and strong hold. The Smart Cover magnets adhere to the iPad 2 near each of the two side corners, and the Smart Feather in turn fits to the Smart Cover’s magnetic anchor and clasps, matching its magnetic hold with nothing to block the connection. This double magnetic adhering system gives you a practically unbreakable connection between case and cover.

The Smart Feather covers the hinges of the other cover, so remember this when removing your iPad 2 from the case in order to be able to remove your cover properly.

As for the design of the Smart Feather case itself, the slick design measures less than 1 mm thick and weighs right around 2 ounces. It is constructed of a hard shell polycarbonate material that is rigid with a slight flex. The outer shell, while being form-fitting and protective, offers a soft touch matte finish, giving the case a smooth feel. The polymer coating provides durability and protection from dents and scratches.

The perfectly placed custom-cut holes allow full access to your iPad 2’s camera lens connection and it even works so well with the Smart Cover that you can leave the cover on when you use the iPad 2 dock! Now that is a custom fit of two products that truly complement and support each other.

This is the ultimate case if you are after a clean and simple look. When you coordinate colors of the Smart Cover and case, you can achieve a seamless all-in-one case look.

You will turn heads with the combination of style and practicality you will get when you pair the Smart Cover with Smart Feather case for your iPad 2.

Smart ForUs – Another Unintelligent Concept?

Embracing a never-say-die business strategy and attitude with regards to the smart fortwo brand, smart GmbH a division of Daimler is once again displaying yet another smart concept vehicle. For those who have followed the smart car brand, know smart GmbH is the smart fortwo’s manufacturer. This time around, they’ve revealed the worlds very first eco-friendly pickup truck – the electric powered smart For-Us concept motor vehicle.

This is a tiny mini-micro truck follows in the smart fortwo tradition and designed to carry two-passengers. However, it is substantially larger than the company’s mainstay – the smart fortwo coupe. The increased bulk makes the For-Us approximately three feet longer, rendering it just a few inches short of a Mini Cooper. Additionally, the pickup bed of the For-Us is sized and setup to transport 2 all-new smart electric bikes, while being able to charge them – on the move. This makes the For-Us much like the Geely IC current model.

The quirky and appealing smart For-Us utilizes the identical lithium-ion battery along with the same electric drive in the smart ED electric-powered car due this spring.

But the question about this smart offer is becoming a recurring concern – Is this one more terrific smart concept car that will never make it to the street?

smart GmbH has produced or attempted manufacturing no fewer than 8 distinct models. These have consisted of the smart crossblade, forfour, Roadster as well as the 4-door forfour. None of these models is manufactured any longer and can only be assessed as total financial calamities.

Additionally, there were the engaging concepts of the smart concept vehicles. Beginning with the crosstown, the formore SUV, forvision, and finally the ForspeED. All came and exited without a plan for implementation or success. As a result, all must be considered as failed attempts for the automaker to grow and diversify.

The core auto for smart, has always been the original fortwo design. We believe, like the majority practical consumers – why not get the first one right? It would then be possible to proceed to greater and improved models.

Mercedes-Benz USA is now in charge of sales and service for the fortwo in the USA. Plans were for a re-launch of the smart car U.S. with potent marketing campaigns behind it. However, it appears the company is providing us with yet another reproof concept flop which was displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit called the For-Us.

Mercedes-Benz (Daimler) is coming off its best year in the past decade, but their smart GmbH division remains a challenge – The initial smart car was manufactured and sold nearly 13-years ago.

Even diehard smart followers are confused about the future of smart. Lots of people are beginning to question exactly how “smart” the smart car is, and how creative will Mercedes-Benz USA marketing get in promoting this model entry? Will they finally put the appropriate amount of marketing muscle and dollars behind the line to make it a success?