What’s in a SmarTrip card

SmarTrip card

dcist took a SmarTrip card apart and found:

the SmarTrip isn’t just an RFID tag. It’s also a Smart Card: an electronic identification card that performs calculations on its own. In SmarTrip’s case, this means keeping track of the balance on your card — that’s how the card can work on MetroBus. Because the balance is stored on the chip, there’s no need for a network connection to a central database.
. . .
the rest of the card acts as an antenna — the card needs a pretty big one in order to gather enough charge for its return transmission. We estimated the antenna’s length at around 40 inches.

Dissecting the SmarTrip,” dcist, December 14, 2005, with photos.
We think we’ll keep using ours in the card format….
Not sure how to use the subway in DC? See our page on “How to Use the Subway (Metrorail or “The Metro”) in Washington, DC

Posted in: Technology

Post a Comment