B-cycle has completed the installation its RFID-enabled bike-sharing system in Des Moines, Iowa, according to a local news report.
Four kiosks and eighteen bicycles make up the pilot phase of the “Des Moines B-cycle” bike-sharing program, with city organizers expecting to have more available by 2011.
With the B-cycle bike rental program users simply press a button next to the bicycle they want, which then activates a RFID reader embedded in the rack. The user’s information is then relayed to a central B-cycle database to confirm the user’s account is in good standing. If so, the user receives audible feedback that the bicycle is unlocked and a green light next to the bike flashes.
Before each bike is removed, the reader collects the ID number encoded to a similar RFID tag attached to the bike. The device then forwards this number to the central database, so that the system knows which particular bike to associate with which user.
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