In public transport

  • I have seen another crowdfunding, the Sesame ring. A plastic ring that can be used as a pass for the public transport options in Boston. This subject was probably approached in the comment section of the kickstarter campaign.
    By respect for the creators of the Sesame ring, I'd like to post the link to their kickstarter but I cannot do it because of anti-spam measure.

    Even so I like the idea there are 2 major problems, the design of the ring and the limited location.
    The plastic feeling of the Sesame ring is a major handicap in the adoption of this product. However the NFC ring does not have the same problem.
    For the location, Boston is a major city in the USA, but that just one city in one country.
    I would love to use the ring in other city easely. I live in France and if I could use this in Paris that would be just perfect.
    Any major city I have been to in Europe or in Australia now have a NFC enable pass that you can top up.
    I looked online, the Navigo pass used in Paris is really simple. They use a technology called Calypso which is the standard used by almost all cities in Europe.

    It is not complicated to copy your existing card to another NFC enable device. However in case of an inspection you are good to pay a fine.

    The RATP, the company that controls most of the public transport in Paris, is currently looking at integrating the pass with a smartphone. This is I think a bad idea. Sure people won't have to search for their badge but I would never recommand to someone to take their smartphone out of their pocket in the subway. There are already to many thieves.

    If the RATP is looking for ways to integrate the Navigo Pass to other devices why not get in contact with them.
    This may also lead to other cities using the Calypso standard.

    What do you think ? What company should we contact, the RATP/SNCF, Calypso or the Transport for London (TfL) which I think uses a different standard ?
    I think it's worse the try. This would also be a great way to promote the technology and the ring.

  • I'm doing some work for TfL at the moment writing the backend for their new website.

    Let me see if I can find a contact to talk to about using the NFC ring for oyster...

  • Chicago recently got a new payment system for public transport - Ventra.
    They are supposed to be integrating with phones via nfc down the road. The cards appear to be rfid.
    I would love to be able to use my nfc ring for this. Definitely seems to be the most secure option for me. Although I live and work in safe areas, pulling out my wallet or phone is always a risk. Generally I am more aware of my hands than my ass, if someone scanned my wallet I likely wouldn't even notice.

  • I just did some quick looking and it appears that boston uses MIFARE which appears to be RFID based.

  • @vaticanuk

    I'm doing some work for TfL at the moment writing the backend for their new website.

    Hey did you get anywhere finding out if we can use other NFC devices as Oyster cards in London?

  • No, I'm afraid not.

    I did ask about around, but didn't manage to find someone who would be able to help.

  • Community Helper

    Just some general thoughts on this:

    probably the problem with most of such applications for the ring is that is the current version the ring (the ntag302) has no "safety" features. usually those applications use mifare cards or newer versions of the mifare standard. those have encrypted sections on the storage of the tag and are more safe for usages like this. I heard rumors that maybe a version 2 of the ring may have some "crypto functionality" on it. so let's see what the future will bring :D

  • Has anyone covered how you actually copy an existing card to the NFC Ring? I actually live in Boston, but would rather use my NFC Ring than get the Sesame Ring. Any help? Thanks!

  • Community Helper

    Sorry about the late reply @Lars - I missed your post at some point.
    It is theoretically possible to use the NFC Ring for something like this but I don't believe anyone has tried it yet. If there is enough storage space in the ring then it might be possible to copy the contents of a mifare style card to it.
    I think if I were testing this I'd do it with an Alpha ring to start off to minimise any possible read issues - and carry the fare card with me to avoid any possible weirdness during 'testing'. :-)

  • There really should exist some kind of "NFC usage catalog" somewhere online. Or if not, could perhaps host or at least partially sponsor such a site. If nfcring becomes a user-owned company to some extent, that could help adoption and spread of such a NFC usage catalog. I could probably sponsor with setting up an instance of our platform (see and etc.) for this purpose, if there is interest from the community. Maybe the NFC organizations (NFC Alliance or something?) could also be interested in cooperating on something like this. The official site would catalog what NFC technologies are used and where.

  • Any news about cloning the Navigo?
    It's a great idea to use the ring instead of the card.