View Full Version : Paperless caching 2.0



cano
10-17-2010, 07:41 PM
I went SMR caching today and got an idea. I have a GPS in one hand and car keys and pen in another. Now I need to open the container, remove the log, sign it, fold it and put it back, I would need 5 hands to perform this action conveniently. Just to have a proof of find, nobody checks anyway. Logs are wet, unreadable, full or lost. Totally pointless.
Why don't we move one step forward and extend paperless caching also to logs (as a proof of find)?
How would it work.
Cache owner would put an RFID (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-frequency_identification) chip inside the cache. They are cheap and come in various forms like stickers. When you find the cache, you just scan it with your reader in close proximity, it's wireless you don't even need to take the cache off a tree. You will get a code you post in your online log as a proof you found it. Cache (rfid chip) will not contain any logs, it will never get full and it doesn't matter if it is lost. This will also extend possibility of cache placement. Cache might be in a form of a sticker you place on something where it wouldn't be possible to place a traditional cache. (Resurrection of virtual caches?)
Technical details.
Each rfid chip will contain a private key, this key will never leave the chip. Owner of the chip will get it printed when they buy the chip and should keep it secret. rfid doesn't need battery or anything else. It's maintain-less. When geocacher reads the chip with theirs reader, the reader will send geocachers ID to the rfid chip. rfid chip will calculate message digest (SHA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA_hash_functions) for example) from its private key and geocacher id, and sends it back to the reader, it is then displayed to the geocacher and this is the code geocacher will post in theirs online log. Cache owner having the private key and geocacher's id will then verify the find (calculate SHA the same way as the rfid chip and compare whether it is the same as geocacher posted in their log) (it could be done automatically by the geocaching site). It's cheat proof, no code, no find. Sharing the code will be pointless, since it's based on particular geocachers id. rfid readers will be implemented into GPS units. You will just need to place your GPS near the cache to read it. GPS unit will then mark it in its database as found, you won't have to do it manually anymore to keep track what you found. It could log it online right away as well. rfid readers come also in form of a SD card. You just plug it in your phone or GPS unit you already have and you are all set to go.
Transition from paper logs to paperless.
During transition period a new cache type RFID cache will be created to promote the technology, the only way to log it would be as described above. For another cache types it would be optional form of logging. After some time all caches will be equipped with rfid tags and all geocachers will have rfid readers.

So... how do you like the idea?

Fins_Up
10-17-2010, 07:56 PM
I like the idea but what about those tough caches where you walk all around it but never see it. Wouldn't you just have to be close on those to register the RFID?

cano
10-17-2010, 08:10 PM
rfid can work from various distance based on size of antenna used and readers antenna as well. For this purpose rfid chips will be used that can be read from within few inches so you have to physically find the cache to read it.

brdad
10-17-2010, 08:48 PM
With the current gc.com guidelines using any data received from a RFID chip to prove you found a cache would be considered an ALR or Additional Logging Requirement and would not be allowed.

Personally I liked the idea of ALRs but I am a quite a purist as far as caching goes and while RFID may be a neat addition to a few caches, I would hate to see it implemented on a large scale. It just pushes the whole power caching process into a whole new level, and a lower level as far as I am concerned. Caching was not intended to be racing to a location and getting close enough to log it automatically, which could be programmed easily into phones and other devices. And while the RFIDs could be configured or shielded to limit the distance, I'd bet money the majority of people who hid these sorts of things would do all they could to make them easier to log, not harder.

There really needs to be a new site for this type of caching. I can see the appeal to some to break the current 1000+ caches in a day record by zipping by locations at 50 MPH. But in my opinion that is too far from the original idea of caching to be called caching.

hollora
10-17-2010, 09:04 PM
I went SMR caching today and got an idea. I have a GPS in one hand and car keys and pen in another. Now I need to open the container, remove the log, sign it, fold it and put it back, I would need 5 hands to perform this action conveniently. Just to have a proof of find, nobody checks anyway. Logs are wet, unreadable, full or lost....................(some deleted for simplicity)

:confused::confused::eek::eek::(:( Sounds to me like a lot of caches need a lot of maintenance. Herein' lies the problem with having so many caches out to maintain.

Ekidokai has done a great job of trying to maintain this series but it is HUGE!;) Thankfullly, I guess he is not employed or at least full time. :cool:

With folks doing it as a "power run", it becomes easy for sloppiness in resnapping covers on film cannisters. The same with doing quick logs and never mentioning the log is full OR just adding a log sheet or replacing it.:p

And ~ who is to say Eki doesn't spend hours pouring over and validating the cache logs when he retrieves the paper logs LOL :eek:;):)

As for the chips and logging, I rather do it the "old fashion way". Many parents like the idea their geek kids might actually learn to have written skills other than texting and stuff by engaging in Geocaching. This would push it to a deminsion, I think, best taken to another site as suggested by BRDad. JMHO

Waterski
10-17-2010, 10:53 PM
Sounds like it would be an easy way to log, but of course we would no longer be able to argue about how long the thank you log should be for finding the cache and people would be surely going through withdrawal on that conversation. I am assuming that there would be no written log, correct? You are the technical king on here Cano. :-) What next? Could you do it by a laser light machine like you had in Eustis, maybe a half mile away?

Davidson 7
10-18-2010, 07:48 AM
When eebee and I placed 1BRC1 we did it with the knowledge that neither of us was close enough to hop in the Jeeps and head out for maintenance without a little planning. We were still certain that we wanted that cache at that location, even though it might be an inconvenience at some point. However, at the time of placement two other cachers who lived within a shorter distance volunteered to help with any issues that might arise with the cache. We really appreciated that, and I've noticed over time that it's not unusual at all for an owner to ask a more local cacher to help out with maintenance from time to time when circumstances don't allow for a cache visit. That's assuming of course that we're talking about a cache owner that cares if the logbook is damaged or full. My point is that there are solutions to the damaged logbook and I don't know that an RFID chip is one of them.

I didn't realize that I might be leaning toward a traditional, "purist" sort of geocaching until I had a log that came in "sent from mobile device" on the cache page. Waterski, as your sig line says "There is some work that will never be done unless you do it.", and I agree completely. That's why a little TFTC isn't too much to ask on a logbook or a geocaching.com cache page to a cache owner. ;)

Waterski
10-18-2010, 08:27 AM
When I started caching it was always nice to have a minute to sit down and flip through the logbook at the cache area, and see who had been there and what they had said. Now that caches are getting more and more along the small and micro line, it gives less and less opportunity to do that, and you can hardly fit your name in at best on some logs. Things are a changing....Even remote areas in the woods were a larger cache could be located tend to get micros hanging on trees. Is in less expensive, less maintenance, or what it the theory behind it? Anyone hiders care to comment? This trend tends to take away the fun for young people with a family hiking for day, as young children have no excitement finding a bison tube on a branch Has it turned into an adult sport? Now you can tell me that families can pick the larger caches to go to, but my point is, they are becoming less and less of an option with new cache placement. I am not one to talk as I only have 2 caches out, both for kids. I do appreciate all that you all do in giving us the opportunity to cache, but this is just an observation for discussion. If we go with this new system that cano suggests, then we won't even have to open the cover and look in the cache at all. Definite adult caching.

pm28570
10-18-2010, 09:38 AM
I went SMR caching today and got an idea. I have a GPS in one hand and car keys and pen in another. Now I need to open the container, remove the log, sign it, fold it and put it back, I would need 5 hands to perform this action conveniently. Just to have a proof of find, nobody checks anyway. Logs are wet, unreadable, full or lost. Totally pointless.
Why don't we move one step forward and extend paperless caching also to logs (as a proof of find)?
How would it work.
Cache owner would put an RFID (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio-frequency_identification) chip inside the cache. They are cheap and come in various forms like stickers. When you find the cache, you just scan it with your reader in close proximity, it's wireless you don't even need to take the cache off a tree. You will get a code you post in your online log as a proof you found it. Cache (rfid chip) will not contain any logs, it will never get full and it doesn't matter if it is lost. This will also extend possibility of cache placement. Cache might be in a form of a sticker you place on something where it wouldn't be possible to place a traditional cache. (Resurrection of virtual caches?)
Technical details.
Each rfid chip will contain a private key, this key will never leave the chip. Owner of the chip will get it printed when they buy the chip and should keep it secret. rfid doesn't need battery or anything else. It's maintain-less. When geocacher reads the chip with theirs reader, the reader will send geocachers ID to the rfid chip. rfid chip will calculate message digest (SHA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA_hash_functions) for example) from its private key and geocacher id, and sends it back to the reader, it is then displayed to the geocacher and this is the code geocacher will post in theirs online log. Cache owner having the private key and geocacher's id will then verify the find (calculate SHA the same way as the rfid chip and compare whether it is the same as geocacher posted in their log) (it could be done automatically by the geocaching site). It's cheat proof, no code, no find. Sharing the code will be pointless, since it's based on particular geocachers id. rfid readers will be implemented into GPS units. You will just need to place your GPS near the cache to read it. GPS unit will then mark it in its database as found, you won't have to do it manually anymore to keep track what you found. It could log it online right away as well. rfid readers come also in form of a SD card. You just plug it in your phone or GPS unit you already have and you are all set to go.
Transition from paper logs to paperless.
During transition period a new cache type RFID cache will be created to promote the technology, the only way to log it would be as described above. For another cache types it would be optional form of logging. After some time all caches will be equipped with rfid tags and all geocachers will have rfid readers.

So... how do you like the idea?

Actually, I like the idea. For a different form of caching. I'm still gonna stay with my topo map and compass.....although I am seriously considering upgrading to a GPSr.

pm28570
10-18-2010, 09:42 AM
I went SMR caching today and got an idea. I have a GPS in one hand and car keys and pen in another. Now I need to open the container, remove the log, sign it, fold it and put it back, I would need 5 hands to perform this action conveniently.

Just a thought.....and I could be way off on this.....how about the keys go in your pocket or clipped off; same with the GPSr and here is where it gets really wild!.......take your pen out of your pocket to use it. :D

All kidding aside, it is interesting. It isn't for me, but interesting none the less.

brdad
10-18-2010, 10:51 AM
Some power cachers just have stickers and stick them on the outside of the film can. :rolleyes::(:rolleyes:

Or, do they like they are doing on the Alien Highway series. Bring along some film cans with logs already signed in them, and just replace the caches as you go. :eek:

Really, this part of this discussion deserves it's own thread. There is a fine line between what is a new aspect of the game and what would be more suitable for a new, similar game.

Ekidokai
10-18-2010, 03:13 PM
The RFID is very susceptible to interference. If the activation area were limited to just inches it would not work as they are set up right now. They are way too easy to destroy too. I found this out the hard way a few times.

Although it sounds like it might make my job easier in some ways I have deleted a few logs on the SMR and informed the cachers that they had recorded finds on the wrong caches. I do look them over. The on line logs are better.

I just completed the 2001 challenge. I concentrate on the 2002 and 2003 caches when I go out now. Not too many micros in that group. Again you make this as exciting, interesting, and fun as you want. It is all in your personal point of view. If you don't like micros and that is your focus the game will be soured for you. If you think there are too many caches again that's on you.

99.9 percent of caches have brought me to places I would not have gone to or found with out some one putting a cache there. They have all been fun because I like it that way.

Except for the nano's. They should be banned.

Waterski
10-18-2010, 03:43 PM
It is great to be taken to these places that you would not have gone, like you say E. and the game is whatever you make it. I don't mean to complain as it can be played however we choose to play and filter out just what you want to find. Some great spots for sure! I would never have traveled the stud mill unless you gave me a reason and it was a lovely day.

benandtina
10-20-2010, 03:00 AM
This thought actually crossed my mind when Ben and I first started caching.

If a device like that existed, I would want it to also allow me to write a log and have it automatically uploaded to gc.com. It wouldn't be that huge of a leap to go from using some sort of device for logging physical caches to also logging online and it would get rid of the current redundancy (signing the physical and online logs).

However, I worry if it got that simple people would be less motivated to write actual logs and we'll see more "Sent from my blah blah device" messages without much content. I think that's bound to happen anyway even with the current technology, so I don't think it should stop progress, but I do think it is something worth thinking about. When Ben and I first started caching we didn't see the value in writing a great log but now that we have met more cachers we understand that a nice online log is basically a way of thanking the CO... and being able to point a device at the cache and have it all taken care of would probably make it easier to forget that.

cano
12-07-2010, 12:38 PM
Google introduced a new feature rich cellphone Google Nexus S

http://www.google.com/phone/detail/nexus-s

It can also read RFID tags, see? I told you.