Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Monday, June 13, 2005

MRT Musings - “Cellphone mo, MRT card na!”

I've been using the MRT since it opened in '99. Linalangaw pa siya nun dahil mahal pa ang bayad at di pa nadidiskobre ng karamihan ang kagandahan ng pag-sakay ng MRT.

This week, I share a few stories about the MRT. On Wed, June 15, You'll read about my alternative mode of transport when emergencies call. On Friday, June 17, I'll give you another Edong's Dream, a sequel to my first Edong's Dream written back in September 2004.

Well well well, what do we have here?

I noticed these silver devices attached to the MRT gates a few weeks ago.
To get into the MRT paid area, you will need to go through two obstacles.

First, you’ll need to play “Patintero” and “Sawsaw suka” and “Frisk me kunwari” with the security guards.

Second you need to get through the metal gates using a plastic magnetic card – the MRT card – that is inserted in the gate’s card slot.

But what if you don’t need that magnetic card?
What if your cellphone will be your ticket to go through the MRT gate?

This seems to be the idea behind the silver device attached to the MRT gates. The device has a data belt connecting it to the inside of the gate.
Prototype silver device connected to the MRT gate
Prototype silver device
connected to the MRT gate
It has a cellphone icon on it

The device has two pilot lamps, one red one green. It also has what appears to be a speaker – probably for a beeping sound. Or maybe a recorded message saying something like
“Guard! Hwag niyong papasukin ito! Snatcher ito ng cellphone!
What’s interesting is the icon – a diagram of a hand holding a cellphone. This is the only clue that this device is meant for using the cellphone to get inside the MRT paid area.

So, what is it? How will it work? It couldn’t be like the “octopus” passes in HK where the ticket value is deducted magnetically without any contact.

Is it SMS-enabled? Is it bluetooth? Is it pasaload triggered? Will it work? I wonder …

I had a few ideas written a couple of months ago about using cellphones for entering the MRT (That article is the first of my Edong's Dreams). How similar or different will the actual MRT device be from the ideas I wrote in the past?

From the appearance of the device, it looks like a prototype. When will they use it for real? Will it work well? I wonder …

Ka Edong

Read: Edong's Dreams


  • At 10:35 am, Blogger Airwind said…

    sana nga manyari na yan...

    regular mrt passenger who hates fallin in line for a card

  • At 5:39 pm, Blogger Edwin "ka edong" said…

    lagi akong may stored value card sa wallet ko. bago ma-ubos yung card, bumibili na ako ng bago, tapos naka-store ang lumang card.

    para kapag may kasabay, madali lang ibigay yung old card, di na kailangang pumila nung kasabay ko.

    sabay tayo minsan! hehehe.

    nasubukan mo na yung LRT-3?

    ka edong

  • At 11:31 am, Blogger Lyra said…

    ey i've seen these silver devices sa mrt. parang they look like barcode readers.

    in japan, they can do transactions wherein they'll be sent a barcode as an MMS message which they can present to a barcode reader on a certain establishment --- like if they're getting plane tickets.

  • At 5:23 pm, Blogger Edwin "ka edong" said…

    Yup, nakita ko nga rin yang feature sa isang Japanese tv show. Barcodes to purchase plane tickets, get in trains, open lockers etc. Tapos ring a number and enter a pin to open a security door.

    Hetong sa MRT-Boni, ewan lang kung barcode reader siya. ano'ng i-re-read kaya niya?

    ang sa HK/Europe, proximity sensor ang ginagamit. ilapit mo within 6 inches of the sensor yung cellphone mo, tapos ma-de-debit yung train fare "load" mo.

    On Friday, I'll share with you what can really be done para maging ...
    "Cellphone na ang MRT card mo!" ... este ...

    "MRT card na ang cellphone mo!"

    ka edong the dreamer

  • At 7:54 pm, Anonymous Paul said…

    Balita ko na may balak talaga ang DOTC at LRTA na mag-deploy ng contactless card system sa Lines 1, 2, and 3 - a common card for all.

    Unlike today, tatlo-tatlong card ang kailangan kong dalhin at all times. Which is not so bad really, except minsan naabutan ng expiry date yung cards na madalang kong gamitin.


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