With CenterEdge Advantage 12.1, we released an iPod-based platform for mobile validation of tickets and cards called CenterEdge Mobile.  We recently released a lot of great new features, but this is one of my personal favorites.  It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for parks and family entertainment centers, and does so at a very reasonable cost.

First, lets talk about the device itself.  By using the Apple iPod Touch, we are able to keep the costs down dramatically by taking advantage of Apple’s incredibly high production volume.  The iPod simply connects to an internal, private WiFi (wireless) network to communicate with your server.  So anywhere you can get wireless coverage, you can validate tickets and cards.  The only addition to the iPod is a special, ruggedized case that contains a magnetic stripe reader, barcode scanner, and supplemental battery.  It’s very small, lightweight, and fits in the palm of your hand.  We can also provide charging cradles to dock them in at the end of the shift.

Okay, so mobile barcode scanning hardware is neat and affordable.  But what about the features it offers?  To start with, we can validate tickets sold at our Point of Sale or Online Store.  This provides both increased security at your attractions, plus increased convenience.  Now your customers can walk right up to the attraction with an online ticket, without stopping at the counter first.

Perhaps even more valuable are the card validation features provided by the iPod validation device.  You can simply sell your customer a card with whatever features you like, and it can be used directly at your attractions.  For example, the guest can buy $20 of value or 50 “tickets” and use the value around the park for rides and attractions.  Or you can sell timed play, so your guest can ride a subset of rides and attractions for a limited time or the whole day.

And that’s just scratching the surface of the features offered by CenterEdge Mobile:

  1. Want to make sure the guest doesn’t pass the value around?  Print a barcoded wristband instead of using a card.
  2. Is the guest at a ride and want to know what they have left on the card?  Just scan it to pull up their current balance, transaction history, and more.
  3. Do you operate your go karts with single and double rider pricing?  Easily switch ride types using the iPod’s touch screen.
  4. Want to run a happy hour?  Set prices at rides and attractions to be discounted based on day of the week and time of the day.
  5. Want to bring your best customers back?  Use Customer Loyalty to offer them better ride and attraction pricing.
  6. Do you sell season passes?  CenterEdge Mobile can validate them as well.
For more information about other new features in this release, see the CenterEdge Advantage 12.1 Release Information document.

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