What sounds better than swimming through an arctic abyss, scaling twelve-foot walls, and sprinting through a field of live wires (some carrying up to 10,000 volts of electric shock), all alongside 10,000 of your muddiest friends?
Having your picture taken while doing it, along with a Facebook status update, of course.
In all seriousness, if I were to complete a grueling, 10-mile obstacle course, I would darn well want photographic evidence, and I may even want to broadcast my (ostensible) accomplishment to everyone I know.
Tough Mudder, touted as the toughest event on the planet, is just what I described above: a hair-raising obstacle course. The events are held throughout the world, and bring in thousands of participants and spectators.
Tough Mudder partnered with FISH Technologies to integrate the competitive experience with social media (specifically Facebook).
Each Tough Mudder participant receives an ultra high frequency (UHF) RFID wristband, which can be associated with his or her Facebook account. Throughout the course, long-range UHF sensors buried in the ground near some of the obstacles pick up a participant’s signal and record their location, obstacle time, and velocity.
From this data, the FISH system selects optimal race photos and posts them to participants’ Facebook pages. The added social media exposure significantly elevated brand exposure and increased engagement for those attending the events.
RFID generates plenty of screams
Another FISH partner, The Nest Haunted House, is also using RFID technology to get pulses racing.
A massive, 10,000 square foot “haunted attraction” in Arizona, The Nest was christened The Spookiest Place in America by Good Morning America.
This year, The Nest is introducing a more personalized terror experience by offering RFID badges that hook up to a ticket-holder’s Facebook account. The FISH technology accesses the account and during the entire experience, each visitor is made to feel like he or she is the one being pursued.
The scare starts off before entering the haunted house. While visitors who have opted in to the RFID experience wait, they receive phone calls and text messages from Killer Kell, an actor posing as a serial killer, portending their (soon to come) death.
Inside the haunted house, readers installed at various locations pull in Facebook data to personalize the trip.
For example, the FISH system can access friends’ names and project them onto headstones. Actors, who work in the haunted house, can read a passerby’s name from a screen and call out an individualized message.
Here, like at the Tough Mudder, there is a camera to capture your mid-scare visage, and yes, post the photo on Facebook.
Tickets to The Nest are $25, and judging by the photos online, this will be unlike any haunted house ever experienced.
Most fascinating is the growth in web impressions and conversation about these events that social media allows. If companies can create a way to share offline events using RFID, or at least samples of the experience on Facebook and Instagram, they’re gaining the huge advantage that online products currently enjoy.
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