Saturday, October 18, 2003

Oysters everywhere

From this weekend, anyone getting a new monthly or longer travelcard in London will get an Oystercard. There should be an awful lot of them around soon which should mean speedier passage through the gates and less fiddling around with and for tickets. I have to say, first impressions, I like it. It's sitting in a card holder with my other smartcards for access now and works fine. The downside is I now have an oystercard, a card for getting into the front door of the office, a card for getting in any other door in the office, a card for logging onto the office PC .... so many cards. So, what I need is a "universal smart card" - one that intelligently receives the config of any one smart card and does what it does. I've been looking at those intelligent remote controls recently - the ones that subsume any other remote that you have in the household and let you do it from one box only. That's what I want for smartcards. I just point any card at my uni-smart and it copies its function directly. I don't know if that's hard or not - I'm guessing that remote controls don't have standards yet, so it must be a similar kind of problem. I'm going to go and see how hard it is - there's a killer app working there that could resolve all the conflicts that we are *bound* to have in the next 3-5 years as more and more cards are issued.

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