Premiere: Axess supplies UHF technology for American leisure resort "Gatlinburg"

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Axess AG is one of the world's leading suppliers for ticketing and access management. Ski resorts, leisure parks, exhibition centers, stadiums and tourist transport all over the world rely on the smart solutions from Salzburg. The North American market is one of the key export regions of the innovative company. And we now have a premiere. For the first time, Axess is providing gates and tickets with UHF antenna technology. The newly developed gates were ordered by the Boyne Resorts in spring 2017 and are currently being installed in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. 500,000 guests per year use the local "Skylift". Axess developed this new product at at the Salzburg headquarters and the new antennae are produced at their own factory in Innsbruck.

At 13.56 MHz, RFID technology in the ticketing and access area traditionally operates in the high-frequency range. Depending on the RFID standard, this enables a reliable reading distance at a range of 10 to 50 cm. All properties of RFID technology - such as reading distance, speed and data transmission volume - are coupled to the physical properties of the respective frequency. If there is a wish in the application for a higher data transfer speed, a longer reading distance or the reading of several tags (people) at the same time, a higher frequency band is needed. The UHF band lends itself to these properties. This starts at 300 MHz and goes up to 3 GHz. Today's RFID standards in the UHF band mainly use the range 860 - 960 MHz.

Innovation strength from Austria

UHF technology has many advantages in application. A passive UHF transponder chip is inexpensive and robust. Furthermore, several tags can be read simultaneously and reliably at a distance of up to 5m.  This means that access in heavily frequented areas can be better automated and processed or registered faster in future. This results in a variety of applications in the area of leisure and ski resorts. Conclusions can be made very easily on which areas the guests in the resort are concentrated, and on which offers they have taken up. Still, with all its advantages, UHF technology also poses a great challenge in practice. The best possible functionality is based on sensitive interaction between the means of identification (chip card or tag), the reader and the individual local conditions. The US-based resort group Boyne Resorts now relies on the technological expertise of Axess AG.

"This project is a great vote of confidence for us and confirms our innovative direction in the area of access. It also shows how strong comparatively "small" Austria is as a location for technology. At Axess, the focus is not just on exporting technology, but we also make all our products and tickets at our plant in Innsbruck", said Oliver Suter, CSO and Axess AG management board member.

UHF on the rise in the US

In the USA, RFID in the UHF frequency range is currently in high demand, with the reason lying in the structure of the industry. US resorts are usually operated centrally with all their services and offerings. With RFID use, the focus is more on the use of the different leisure offerings and the analysis of this data in the area rather than on access control. This is also the case with the Boyne Resorts, which operates a total of 10 ski resorts and 11 golf resorts all over the USA. The Axess Smart Gates NG with UHF technology will go into operation in Gatlinburg at the start of the season. Other resorts in the US are already showing strong interest and are keeping an eye on Axess in Salzburg/Anif.     

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