Chip Coins


Chip Coins

Remember the "chip coin." It’s a thingie that looks like a thick poker chip and has a computer chip inside. It replaces a parking ticket. You get one when you enter a garage. The chip inside carries your entry time. If you need to validate, you place it on a validator and the chip picks up that information. When you pay, at a pof, the chip gets that info too. You then place the chip in a chip acceptor when you leave and the machine keeps it and its reused, over and over.

Its history goes back to Intellichip and a German named Johann Farmont. He was a tinkerer and developed the gizmo well over a decade ago in Europe. In the late 90s he hired Bill Pearce to sell the product here in the US. It appeared to be ahead of its time. The company folded and that was that.

Well maybe not. Scheidt and Bachmann has placed its huge market presence behind the concept and is manufacturing and selling the product, of its own design. They have been successful in numerous installations including the Cities of Baltimore, Manchester, NH, and Memphis, TN.

This is a bit of a change from what we are most familiar, however it has a lot to be said for the concept. It’s high tech, reduces a lot of the mechanical requirements of dealing with tickets and ticket transports, and frankly I think the public will like it.

The machines I have seen simply use gravity. You drop the chip in the top of the machine and it falls through and then out the bottom where you pick it up. While inside an electronic device will write on the chip all the information needed. this means that maintenance is minimal, and  jams a thing of the past.

Neat, huh…

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John Van Horn

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