Paperless caching 2.0
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 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?)
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 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?
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?
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.
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.
: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.
Originally Posted by cano
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
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?
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. ;)
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.
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.
Originally Posted by cano
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
Originally Posted by cano
All kidding aside, it is interesting. It isn't for me, but interesting none the less.