Universal ticketing for mobiles agreed by rail companies
Fed up of buying your train tickets over the station counter from some trussed-up overweight pig of a housewife in lipstick and high heels? Unable to get some screentime with your laptop to book your journey online? Never fear! The rail industry is slowly chugging into the 21st century - next stop, mobile phones.
According to Mobile Industry Review, the Association of Train Operating Companies (which represents all UK rail operators) has introduced an industry-wide mobile ticketing standard based on 2D barcodes. It means that rail operators are now able to sell mobile tickets which can be used on other rail operator’s networks.
All sorts of problems have plagued the route of mobile ticketing, including security issues and ease of use, plus the need to develop a barcode that displayed on normal screens and not just smartphones. The new barcode standard works on 9 out of 10 mobile handsets - that's to say any mobile phone with a colour screen or that's been introduced in the last five years. Though if you're still using a handset from 2003, you probably won't be all that keen to buy tickets through your mobile.
How does all this spanking-new techno-ticketry look, then? Well, a little like your Acorn Electron has crashed, to be honest:
Next on the rail industry's to-do list: brewing a reasonable cup of coffee in the buffet car, and stopping the toilets running out of water before reaching their destination. Gag.