The number of industries iPhone and iPad are disrupting at a rapid rate is incredible! Today, the New York Times reveals that Amtrak, the government-owed American passenger railroad company, has chosen to use the iPhone as a ticket scanner for its 1,700 conductors.
iPhones will be equipped with a barcode scanner in a case similar to the Linea Pro cases that Apple uses at its retail stores for its point of sales system. The phones will be able to scan barcodes on paper tickets, as well as digital barcodes on smartphones.
The article also points out that Amtrak’s ticketing system was long overdue for an upgrade. Before the adoption of iPhones, the prior ticketing system involved punching a hole in a paper ticket and physically transporting those tickets to a central location where the information was entered in a database. Wow, that sounds ancient.
Amtrak also has an iPhone app that allows riders to book tickets, check train status and schedules, and more. The app is available for free via the App Store.