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Ask the experts: PDA technology …

Do you offer any handheld computer or PDA technology and how are your campus clients using these devices?

Tom Bell, VP Industry Relations, Blackboard
Blackboard offers clients the Wireless Activity Reader as a solution for a variety needs. As an example, Creighton University uses the Wireless Reader to grant or deny access to athletic events. This use has led to improved revenue streams and accurate attendance tracking. Another example comes from the area of intramural sports. A significant challenge is proving, from the middle of the baseball diamond or athletic field, that all participants are active fee-paying students. For many campuses, insurance only applies to fee-paying students making it a good risk management practice to check who is participating in intramurals and other activities. The Bb Wireless Activity Reader is designed to operate in situations like this. Whether on a field, on a bus or at the entrance to the stadium, the Wireless Activity Reader is a great way of approving or denying access to events.

Cindy McCall, Marketing Manager, CBORD
CBORD offers a battery pack for our standard card reader that makes it portable and allows for use at retail events without ethernet connectivity such as a picnic. Our vending equipment is programmed with a software application that runs on the Palm computing platform. In addition to programming vending readers with this device, sales data may be collected at the machine. Sales data is also available centrally through the Odyssey PCS software.

Fred Emery, Systems Marketing, General Meters Corp.
General Meters Corporation(TM) offers a handheld unit to assist campuses in need of a portable device.  Called the Pocket 1Card(TM) it is a software package and a card reader designed to operate on a personal digital assistant (PDA) using the Microsoft PocketPC(TM) operating system as an extension of our University One-Card System(TM).  A specially designed card reader is attached to an HP iPaq enabling card validation in a matter of seconds by a simple swipe of the magnetic stripe. No external power is needed as the card reader is powered by the HP  iPaq. Our campuses use Pocket 1Card(TM) as a quick, easy way to check a student’s status, to verify age at age restricted events, for access control to a concert or other campus event, to check parking rights, for security personnel to retrieve student information and to vend meals in a non-traditional location such as a barbeque in a remote area of campus.

Charles Cagliostro, President, Tokenworks
This is our specialty and we have well over 100 university clients. We just introduced a new version of CardDB that contains many improvements requested by our campus clients over the last year. We will be demonstrating it in San Antonio at the NACCU conference in booth 226.

Chris Rizzetto, Director-Higher Ed , Vision Database Systems
VDS offers several Palm solutions using either magstripe or barcode technology on a Symbol or Handspring device.  Data selection/eligibility/tracking is user defined and both devices have an easy one step load and off-load process. Our current clients are using our products for a wide variety of solutions from event entrance (sporting and academic), intramurals, meal plans, outside picnics, tracking mandatory attendance (i.e. chapel or lectures), transportation, etc. Our new release will be a wireless pocket PC solution that will offer full on-line/off-line product functionality in a handheld device. Its debut will be at NACCU, on Sunday March 14 at 2:30 pm in our Sales Presentation.

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