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?