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Admission Tickets as Text Messages

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the hope-you-have-a-cell-phone dept.

Communications 244

lee1 writes to tell us that InfoWorld is reporting that Smartmachine and their partner Skidata have developed a new way to allow customers to purchase and receive tickets to events. The new ticketing system allows users to "have a ticket sent to their mobile phone via SMS (Short Message Service) in the form of a 2D (two-dimensional) bar code. At the gate, they slide their mobile phone display showing the bar code by a bar code reader." The new technology also claims to help combat the counterfeit, pilferage, and repeat use that can be such a problem for paper tickets.

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And they'll pass the cost savings on to... (4, Insightful)

Kittyflipping (840166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502877)

themselves! And to add value to the consumer, they will (automatically) sign you up for text messages about upcoming events that may be (but probably aren't) of interest to you! Sorry for the cynicism, but I haven't found ticketing agencies to be all that honest (e.g. Fandango signed me up for a subscription to a 3rd party children's website because I clicked on an ad for a few bucks off my purchase. I read the ad and closed it; it wasn't anything I was interested in because I didn't have kids. Unbeknownst to me, Fandango had sent my credit card information to this site and signed me up!)

PETROV (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14502900)

PORRASTURVAT

Re:And they'll pass the cost savings on to... (5, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503018)

Sorry for the cynicism

I doubt few would disagree with you... Look at ticketmaster. The last time I bought a ticket via TM I was charged somewhere about 8 USD for a "convience fee". I bought the ticket online and picked the ticket up at the box office. So what's the convience? The fact that I did my own order entry and seating research instead of tying up one of their customer services sales reps on the phone for 15 minutes on an 800 number? The fact that they didn't have to put the ticket in an envelope and mail it to me? I SAVED them money by doing my business on the internet and still I got smacked with a fee as if doing things on my own is somehow easier....

Wait, yeah, considering the level of competence of the average sales rep, I guess it was more convient.

Re:And they'll pass the cost savings on to... (1)

Wabin (600045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503207)

This gets a bit off topic, but why the hell does TM use a system by which you don't get to pick anything about your tickets except the price and general area? If you don't like the tickets you are assigned, you have to go the whole process again, and enter that damn pictureword again. And again. And again. This is convenience?!

I just don't see why they don't have a system like the airlines to let you pick your exact seat. It might not work when everyone is trying to get tickets at the same time, but for most things it would probably work just fine. It also solves the problem where there might not be good seats 4 in a row, but there might be 2 in one row and 2 in the row behind...

But I should stop flogging the dead horse. Fact is, TM is an awful monopolistic highway robber. Perl Jam was right. Ah well.

How much does your time worth? (1)

GeekLord (946825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503294)

Youve got to admit there is good value on skipping a line and buying a ticket on the comfort of your place. Here in Brazil the situation is even worse: I simply cannot see a good movie without buying a ticket a day or two beforehand. So I've got tired of watching movies on SUNDAY MORNINGS... Ticketmaster gave me freedom of choice! Then again, 8 bucks is really expensive... I actually pay R$3,00 for this service, aproximatelly one dollar.

Re:And they'll pass the cost savings on to... (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503330)

...I was charged somewhere about 8 USD for a "convience fee".

at least for my local ballet, symphony, and other fine arts stuff, when they do charge the convience fee, the tickets are mailed to you. Then they place you on the call list and every year they call me asking when I want to go to the ballet again.

Parent is right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503378)

Too bad there's someone working for Ticket Master here with Mod points!

Plan B (5, Insightful)

biocute (936687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502889)

I sure hope they have taken into account for SMS delay, SMS MIA, deleted SMS, lost mobile phone, hacked/guessed barcode and whatnot. In short, is there a Plan B when someone lost this eTicket, or a cracker guessed/keygened a barcode and used it before the real owner did?

Paperless ticketing, while important, will only cause monetary loss, imagine if a country is crazy enough to adapt paperless voting where voters don't get a "vote receipt" in case something or someone messed up the results.

Re:Plan B (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502930)

Hmm, why would the barcode need to be hacked/guessed? Why not just pull it straight out of the air? Or is SMS more secure than I thought?

imagine if a country is crazy enough to adapt paperless voting where voters don't get a "vote receipt" in case something or someone messed up the results.

What, you mean like the US of A?

Re:Plan B (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503084)

HTH: GSM Security FAQ [gsm-security.net]

Re:Plan B (4, Insightful)

aonaran (15651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503279)

Wow, if ticket takers are willing to accept a barcode displayed on an LCD I imagine that it'll only be a matter of tiem till someone writes a Java phone program that quickly cycles through a bunch of random barcode numbers till it hits on one that the system accepts.

You'd probably have several seconds to do it before the person scanning it gives up trying to scan the "bad phone display" and tries another way to verify the ticket.

Re:Plan B (1)

slart42 (694765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502996)

while all these issues are valid, people often forget that the conventional methods used for ages are usually much less secure. What about lost/stolen/conterfeit paper tickets?
When i first started to use online banking several years back, many came to me saying: "but is this save?". Well not perfectly, but since I found out that my bank would let me withdraw 5000 german marks from my bank account, without seeing any proof of ID, customer card, or any document at all for that matter, I'm certain it's more secure then traditional banking.

Batteries (1)

se2schul (667721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503048)

A plan B is definitely required. Imagine being denied admittance due to the cell phone battery being dead.

Re:Plan B (-1, Flamebait)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503179)

...voters don't get a "vote receipt"...

Remember, mail in your republican-voting vote receipts before march 5th to claim your free tub of ben and jerrys!

Re:Plan B (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503382)

I'd be willing to bet, given their environmentalist slant, that B&J are democrats. Get your free gallon of oil is more likely.

Re:Plan B (2, Insightful)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503193)

Not to mention with so many cellphones with cameras, would it be that hard to take a picture of someone else's barcode?

Re:Plan B (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503405)

While paperless ticketing may be similar to paperless voting it is not nearly as complex because it does not need to be anonymous.

Like public transport in finland (5, Interesting)

slart42 (694765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502916)

I've seen the same system in use for public transport tickets in Helsinki. People send an sms to some number, and the fare is deducted from their phone bill. As a proof of purchase the get a text message, which can be shown to the conductor on ticket controls..

Re:Like public transport in finland (3, Funny)

bynary (827120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502956)

...the fare is deducted from their phone bill.

So if you buy enough public transit tickets your phone usage is free?

Re:Like public transport in finland (2, Funny)

Freexe (717562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503031)

I hope they never introduce a system like that in London, I'd rather pay the £30 phone bill!

Re:Like public transport in finland (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503177)

Haha XD +5 Funny.

Re:Like public transport in finland (3, Interesting)

de_valentin (934164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503335)

The real advantage for the average concert fan is that it makes it a lot harder for someone to buy all the tickets and go and sell them online for twice the normal value which I know is a major problem in Belgium and the Netherlands. As long as you can't just send the sms to the next guy.

Re:Like public transport in finland (2, Insightful)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503056)

If the turnaround time is quick enough, I imagine that some individuals might only pay for tickets via SMS when they see the ticket controller coming towards them and ride free the rest of the time.

Re:Like public transport in finland (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503326)

If the turnaround time is quick enough, I imagine that some individuals might only pay for tickets via SMS when they see the ticket controller coming towards them and ride free the rest of the time.

It would be trivial to put a timestamp on the ticket. If yours is from after the train left the station, it's no good. Or better yet, just have the system bill you an extra couple (bucks|quid|whatever the slang term for moolah is in Finland) for buying the ticket after the train left the station. How hard is that?

They used the same for Red Bull railstorm (1)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503223)

They used the same for Red Bull railstorm - a snowboarding event in London - I won the ticket, then couldn't make it - so I gave it to a friend - it's designed to not be possible to transfer, but given 5 minutes, a bit of ingenuity, and some sticky backed plastic the ticket was happily on his phone, and he got in without issue. M

This is a bummer... (5, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502918)

How will I save my ticket stub for my collection? Ticket stubs are badges of honor among certain fans.

Re:This is a bummer... (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502986)

Print it or keep the SMS.

Re:This is a bummer... (1)

Naomi_the_butterfly (707218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503011)

In israel we get a printed ticket at the gate, as reciept. It's identical to any other ticket. It's then torn off like a regular as you go in, so you have your seating info.

Re:This is a bummer... (1)

Satan Dumpling (656239) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503019)

I agree, I don't even like the "ticketfast" tickets from Ticketmaster you print on your own printer.
What I really find hysterical is that Ticketbastards charges extra for that when they save money by not mailing your tickets!
Now, I can see paying for a movie this way. Hold your phone to a machine on the way in and skip the line, like the credit card machine does now.
But there's a HUGE difference between trusting it with a $6 matinee and a $130 Ozzfest pit ticket.
And then what if your phone runs out of juice?

Re:This is a bummer... (1)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503165)

Speak for yourself! (ok you were heh) but I keep every movie ticket stub I get.

I've never been to a concert.

use the (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503060)

camera on your phone to take a picture of the screen, .....ohh wait maybe they could enable some sort of screen cap for phones os

Re:This is a bummer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503113)

Well, just imagine what your existing stub collection will be worth once ticket stubs are memories of a bygone era.

Let's see if I got this straight (4, Funny)

slapout (93640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502921)

So you buy the ticket on your cell phone, have to bring the phone to the theater with you, and then the first thing they tell you when you sit down is "Please turn off your cell phone"?

Re:Let's see if I got this straight (1)

jesser (77961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503038)

On the other hand, this might make it easier to remember to turn off your cell phone while watching a movie.

Old news in Korea (5, Interesting)

neoshmengi (466784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502927)

The Koreans have been doing this for years. To promote it they gave you a discount if you used the cell phone technique.

It makes a lot of sense. It's convenient to order the tickets, also via cell phone, and then you don't have to wait in line. And everyone there has a cell phone.

Funfact: In South Korea when you buy a movie ticket, you can buy a particular seat, like at a sports game.

And... (2, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502954)

What happens if you accidentally delete the message (some phones delete messages if you remove the battery or whatever)? Can they resend it to you, or are you SOL?

P.S. You can order seats here in Greece too, in large multiplexes.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503305)

What happens if you accidentaly drops the paper ticket, or set it on fire?

Re:Old news in Korea (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502982)

I bet only young people in Korea use this service?

I know many who do not (or simply refuse) to have a mobile phone, so if mobile users get a discount, non mobile users (that is, traditional consumers) will truly be disadvantaged.

Re:Old news in Korea (3, Insightful)

neoshmengi (466784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503081)

Cell phones are unbelievably ubiquitous in Korea. Old people have them, elementary kids have them, I've even seen homeless people with them. I never met anybody in Korea who didn't have a cell phone. It has become a way of life.

That being said, I would image that younger people are more likely to use the service.

Re:Old news in Korea (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503017)

Fun fact: It confused me as hell when I decided to see Serenity at my last visit in the U.S. There were a few different codes on the ticket. I really tried to figure out which one might be the seat. After a while, I decided that it was hopefully free seating. (Of course, the seating is sometimes free in Sweden, in really small cinemas or unofficial screenings.)

Thanks to Yahoo for giving me the free tickets!

Re:Old news in Korea (2, Informative)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503336)

After a while, I decided that it was hopefully free seating.

Cultural tip for those from outside the US: here, it is extremely rare for movie showings to have assigned seating. In almost all cases, moviegoers are welcome to sit in any free seat in the theater once they have been admitted.

Other types of events -- sports, theater, classical music -- most often DO have assigned seats. Popular music concerts are split: often there will be reserved seating and unreserved standing room in different parts of the vanue at the same event.

Re:Old news in Korea (0, Troll)

attam (806532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503037)

In South Korea

i forget, is that the good korea or the bad korea?

Re:Old news in Korea (1)

GeorgeMcBay (106610) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503163)


Funfact: In South Korea when you buy a movie ticket, you can buy a particular seat, like at a sports game.


There are assigned seating movie theatres here in the USA as well (I've been to a few of them in New York City), though obviously the general admission style is a lot more common.

Re:Old news in Korea (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503195)

So are you, in essence, saying that
"In Korea, only old people buy cell-phone tickets?"

about time (1)

tehlinux (896034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502934)

This is the first interesting thing I've seen a mobile phone do in a long time!

Oh good... (4, Funny)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502935)

Now people will have a REASON for bringing their cell phones to a movie...*Grumble*

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14502942)

I bet this reader will be in the box office, which means its no better than me calling/webbing in my reservations and picking up my tickets. Plus that method doesn't require I have an accursed mobile phone.

Heard at Woodstock anniversary concert... (4, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502945)

Hey man- there's some bad RAM going around out there. Be careful.

Mobile phone TOS/disclaimers (1)

twiggy (104320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502948)

Given that almost every mobile phone company has either in their TOS, or in disclaimers, that they cannot guarantee the arrival of text messages, I don't see how this could work reliably. Arguments could constantly be made that "the message never came", etc.

Also, there are still a lot of people without cell phones, or with older ones that won't display high-res enough graphics for the bar codes to be scanned.

Bad idea jeans, IMHO.

Easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503135)

Just have users confirm they got it by replying. If they do not, the ticket is voided after a period of time and they are not charged.

SMS? (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502968)

Do they mean MMS? I suspect so, as they're not even talking about GSM:
"In addition, users must have mobile phones supporting packet-based technologies, such as GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) or 3G (third-generation)"

Re:SMS? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503221)

If they're talking about GPRS [gsmworld.com] , then they're talking about GSM [gsmworld.com] .

Another major privacy violation (-1, Flamebait)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502972)

Another example of useless technology that in reality does not good except require that you have a cell phone with you that adds to the stream of such ridiculous ideas who have shown up after the 2001 law that made it illegal to manufacture cell phones without a tracking chip which makes possible to pinpoint your exact location at all times (for your own protection, obviously).

Does this idea really do any good except ensuring that it is possible to know exactly who buys the tickets and when?

As of how it is a) used a credit-card system which stores the number of trips and detracts one for each time you pass the gate, which works smoothly and b) illegal to own a cell-phone that is not registered with the correct name and address locally.

Re:Another major privacy violation (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503184)

Another example of useless technology that in reality does not good except require that you have a cell phone with you that adds to the stream of such ridiculous ideas who have shown up after the 2001 law that made it illegal to manufacture cell phones without a tracking chip which makes possible to pinpoint your exact location at all times (for your own protection, obviously).

It's my understanding that the legislation did mandate positioning but didn't say you had to do it at the phone end, just that you had to do it. Some provider (probably more than one) has a system that just based on triangulation can find you within a couple meters. Thus, they don't NEED to put anything in your cellphone to find you.

not reliable enough (1)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502990)

Eh, they better have a plan B. I see this as a real source of potential problems. Who takes responsibility for errors? Trouble with the delivery of the message, trouble with the phone, and how are they sure that this system cant be duped either. For where there is a will there is a way.

Re:not reliable enough (1)

Big_Al_B (743369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503329)

Mostly very good points.

and how are they sure that this system cant be duped either.

Well, digital signatures may be one solution for authenticating the message source.

Already in use for years... (2, Informative)

Naomi_the_butterfly (707218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502992)

Dang... we've been using that in israel for movies for years. Just a number in text message, though, no barcode. They type it in and check that the credit card you have with you matches the card that that ticket number is registered under and you're in.

Re:Already in use for years... (1)

knight37 (864173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503109)

Dang... we've been using that in israel for movies for years. Just a number in text message, though, no barcode. They type it in and check that the credit card you have with you matches the card that that ticket number is registered under and you're in.

That sounds painfully inefficient. They actually type in numbers and have you get out a CC for each and every person entering the concert? In the USA we generally have paper tickets, be they mailed or e-ticket (printed on home printer), and they just scan them with a barcode reader as you enter. Much faster.

Re:Already in use for years... (1)

Naomi_the_butterfly (707218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503407)

Both of those are also options here... the specific program I described was in conjunction with a cellphone company that gave a free ticket to x theater chain every week. They'd have used the barcode thing, I think, but there are some users who don't have MMS ready cells, and a text-based code is pretty simple. Truth is, it takes just about as long to type in the ticket number as it does for me to say "Two for Narnia"... this way I do it on the phone before I get there and just show it when I arrive and the ticket prints out. It's just one of many options for ordering tickets.

Combat counterfeit? (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14502997)

Right, cause no one can figure out how to get a phone to draw a bar code except this company...

They can counterfeit a barcode on a ticket to get into Madison Square Garden. They can most certainly figure out how to draw the image on a phone's screen.

Re:Combat counterfeit? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503160)

When used properly, unique numbers (with or without a barcode) are a good method for providing security. You assign psuedorandom values in a range to purchasers and then register the numbers in the database as valid for a particular event. The numbers can be checked at the location of the event. I'm getting ready to propose a ticketing system to my employer (currently we mark off sold seats on a piece of paper with the seating diagram printed on it, and sell tickets manually by phone, no internet sales) and this is one of the required "technologies". (More like a methodology. And a common one.) At the door, people with WiFi-equipped barcode readers (which are really general purpose computers) will scan the tickets (whether they are mailed, sold in-house, or print-at-home) and let us know if they are valid or not.

Re:Combat counterfeit? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503204)

Excellent... (2, Insightful)

Sgt_Jake (659140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503003)

Now we can further separate the technocracy from the unwashed masses who don't have cell phones or know how to use them. Holding the population in thrall is becoming easier every day...

Re:Excellent... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503387)

Now we can further separate the technocracy from the unwashed masses who don't have cell phones or know how to use them. Holding the population in thrall is becoming easier every day...

Did you see "Blackhawk Down"? Remember the scene when the US troops start their airlift into Mogadishu? Remember the little boy on the rooftop, reporting their movement with a (wait for it...) cell phone?? And that happened over 10 years ago, and cell phones were still common enough in one of the poorest nations on earth that they were used by common people. There are countries in Africa today who still don't have hot water and electricity in every home, but everyone's got a cell phone. So I don't see this as a "tool of the technocracy", I see this as bringing progress to people over thin air.

Where are the privacy advocates on this one? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503012)

Let's see now, allowing the FBI to go to the library to see what books you've been reading is BAD, but a system that allows practically anybody to track what movies, concerts, sporting events, etc. you go to is GOOD?!? (And I have no doubt that this data will be available to anyone willing to pay for it, as much of your cell phone records already are!)

Print barcode on ticket? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503022)

"The new technology also claims to help combat the counterfeit, pilferage, and repeat use that can be such a problem for paper tickets."

Print the barcode on the ticket and then tickets are just as secure as this scheme. If a virtual ticket on a mobile phone is good enough, so is a thermal prinout from the even more common thermal printers that are almost everywhere these days.

Wrong title. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503032)

Shouldn't the title be "Text Messages as Admission Tickets"?

sounds good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503040)

as long as i dont have to pay the ticketmaster gouging fee!!

-DB

Re:sounds good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503319)

as long as i dont have to pay the ticketmaster gouging fee!!

No you won't, but you will have to pay the textmessagemaster gouging fee.

And what will they do to combat the problems... (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503050)

...the problems of legitimate paying customers whose credit cards will be charged but who will be unable to gain admission because their cell phone is unexpectedly incompatible, has a display that for whatever reason isn't readable, battery goes dead while waiting in line, whatever...

open code (1)

in-tech (912144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503051)

You are aware of the security loop hole for WMF, in which case the 3rd party tool was the one to beat you. Regarding this, do you think that open source will solve this problem or create more problem/s? I guess you are also aware that if you can't solve the problem you created, than people from far East has a traditional custom of throwing rotten eggs and tomatos.

Tried it, seat but my seat was already occupied (2, Funny)

whyde (123448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503066)

...by an NSA agent.

Works on Tallinn/Estonia (1)

wigry (899492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503068)

In Tallinn Estonia we have quite similar system working already for some time now. No cellphones used though but the ticket admission over internet is possible. After paying, you will be presented with ticket on your web browser, which you just have to print out and take it to the movie theater, where the barcode reader is used to validate the ticket. There is a big warning though, that the first person with given barcode will get to the theater and all other attempts to enter will fail, so keep your ticket secret. Anyway, it works quite nicely (at least I have managed to get to see all the movies where I've bought the ticket over the internet :) ) The main benefit is no waiting in the lines. Actually they should sell the web tickets bit cheaper as there is no paper expenses for the theater, but they just make bigger profit by keeping the prices the same.

Tallinn/Estonia? (0, Flamebait)

Sgt_Jake (659140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503149)

Do you get to this magical land through a wardrobe closet somewhere in England?

What? (1)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503069)

How does this combat counterfieting, pilfering and repeat usage? Are they saying a txt message is harder to generate than a realistic looking ticket?? Or a cell phone is harder to steal? Or that they're going to rip your cell phone in half once you pass through the gate? I can see some convenience advantages but I really don't understand that statement.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503270)

How does this combat counterfieting, pilfering and repeat usage? Are they saying a txt message is harder to generate than a realistic looking ticket?? Or a cell phone is harder to steal? Or that they're going to rip your cell phone in half once you pass through the gate? I can see some convenience advantages but I really don't understand that statement.

Presumably, the "tickets" are generated uniquely by some mechanism that's "difficult" to hack. And once you go through the turnstile, your "ticket" is scanned and the database to which the scanner is connected marks it as used. This is no different from paper tickets with barcodes that are scanned at the gate.

-a

First, you must buy a device (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503085)

The one advantage to a paper ticket is that you don't have to buy anything extra and you can save the stub for your collection.

Re:First, you must buy a device (1)

Rallion (711805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503403)

That was two advantages.

The next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503108)

We have the problem of forged tickets and stuff to be sure but I think the bigger deal is saving labor.

You show your screen to a scanner and you can cut the number of ticket takers to half. All they have to do is make sure you showed your screen to the scanner.

The next step would be that your ticket becomes a bluetooth transmission. Combined with automated turnstiles, we can cut those pesky ticket takers right out of the equation.

Having said the above, there are places where forgery is indeed rampant; ski hills for instance. There you have the same number of people checking your lift ticket and they have scanners. So, sometimes, forgery is a problem but I bet that most of the deal is to eliminate jobs, most of the time.

Eh doesn't matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503127)

Good thing I'm a geek with no interest in sports, no social life and good downstream. Otherwise this might actually affect me!

Interesting idea... for a non-Luddite... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503138)

So what if you're a Luddite who use his cell phone only as a phone? Heck, I'm still waiting for the paperless office.

co34 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503166)

they ware Come on Contact to sse if least I won't

Scalpers (1)

bl00d6789 (714958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503201)

Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else like they might be doing this just to combat scalping of tickets?

Re:Scalpers (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503312)

Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else like they might be doing this just to combat scalping of tickets?

I don't think the event promoters really give a shit about scalpers--the promoters (and hence the artists or the sports teams or whomever) get paid for the tickets whether or not the scalper can re-sell them.

It does present a problem for people who have legit reasons for re-selling a ticket. For example, say you get sick the night of the show and you want to sell (or give) your $100 ticket to a friend. You can do that with a paper ticket, but I don't see how you can transfer the ticket to your friend's phone. (Maybe the system will allow that?)

BTW: I hate scalpers, and I think people who are willing to overpay $300 for tickets to ANY event are fools.

RFID (1)

tm2b (42473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503215)

I wonder how long it'll be before they simply have your RFID tag (or the RFID tag of your consumer loyalty card, or whatever) and you'll just be able to walk through the fast entry lane (either having prepurchased, or automatically getting a seat assignment upon entry).

Cheat idea (1, Redundant)

ysegalov (849765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503224)

Let's program our cell-phone to display random barcodes at a fast rate. Put it in front of the barcode reader and wait for a few seconds. If we show enough barcode options, and I assume the barcode reader works fast, we might be able to fall on a valid one.
How many digits are there in a barcode?

Re:Cheat idea (1)

Naomi_the_butterfly (707218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503426)

You can make a barcode out of any number of digits.

Scalping? (1)

mendaliv (898932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503229)

This should take a sizeable chunk out of the ticket scalping business.

You can probably forward the barcode image to another phone, but the company knows the original purchaser's number, which would be bound to a physical address if I'm not mistaken. All you'd need is someone to blow the whistle...

Are those SMS? (3, Informative)

Fr4ncis (763671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503253)

Are you sure they send SMS? Short Message Service [wikipedia.org] is used to send just plain text, while MMS [wikipedia.org] (Multimedia Messaging Service) is used to send images as well as music and other nice stuff. I'm not sure you can compose a bar code with an SMS message!

I have a text-only cellphone! (1)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503289)

You insensitive clod!

can't wait for TM to get ahold of this (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503290)

Surely ticketmaster will add a charge for this "convience" feature. Nevermind it saves them costs or anything. And for the naysayers questioning the security, compatibility of phones, quickness of messages coming through, privacy, etc: I read this to be OPTIONAL, in addition the normal methods of buying tickets. You can still walk up to the box office, pay in cash, and get your tickets. If you don't have a compatible phone, you're SOL, order it online or via the mail. You don't HAVE to use this service. Obviously those with compatible phones will be able to use it. My old phone couldn't download ringtones - I didn't bitch because they were offered but I couldn't partake. I ultimately got a new phone. You probably aren't going to go to the box office, pay, then get a text message with your ticket. I could see it for on the way to the venue, or maybe even while waiting in line. But I'd be sure to prepare for it early enough just to be safe. Just my $.02.

This was tried in India for a Cricket match (2, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503298)

...back in 2004: Hi-tech ticketing for India-Australia Test [oneindia.com]

FTA:

The tickets would be delivered directly to their mobile phones. At the venue, they only need to place their phones on the sensor installed at the gates for entering the stadium. Spice Telecom and Karnataka State Cricket Association, after their "successful" and ongoing joint venture of Future Strokes, have again come together to launch the Mobile Ticketing in association with ConvergeLabs, a Spice Telecom release said.

YAY! (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503311)

I've had ringtones that I purchased and didn't come through and that's only $3 (but I was still rightfully irritated I still got charged). Won't it be great when you buy your 80 dollar ticket to see the band of the week and it gets lost in technoland?

Easy to hack? (1)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503352)

Once the ticket is data (ie an SMS message) why can't it just be forwarded to all your friends?

Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503398)

Because the ticket is no longer valid once you scan it in?

Re:Easy to hack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14503404)

Doesn't that just mean that only the first "friend" to get their ticket scanned gets in and its unique ID checked off in the database, and all your other friends are screwed when they try to get in, with you to thank?

air of scepticism (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503397)

is reserved.. as not many are comfortable giving their cell numbers..

Zippline was there first (1)

dynamo (6127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503408)

They didn't invent this.
http://www.zippline.com/ [zippline.com]

No-Buy List? (1)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14503424)

Just make sure your mobile number isn't on someone's no-buy list. Otherwise you may have to "borrow" your "friend's" phone to get into the event.
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