Really Great… Parking??

Every now and again you run into great technology – it doesn’t happen often, but you recognize it when you see it. For example:

  • Original Macintosh
  • iPod
  • Macbook Pro
  • Movado Watches
  • Panic’s Coda
  • SkiData Parking Hardware

OK, that last one seems a bit out of place, but bear with me for a minute here…


When the Ottawa airport was expanded in 2001, they built a parking structure that uses the Skidata parking control system. You can tell these things are different when you drive up – the bright orange, cute, and fantastically designed device is right there – with a nice big button for obtaining a ticket.

And, the same device is there when you leave – just hand back your ticket, then it takes your credit card, then it issues a receipt – ALL USING THE SAME SLOT! Nice!

The Ottawa Airport is expanding the system – adding machines where you can pay using cash or credit cards.

So, why do we like this device?

  • The design is simple, cute and obvious.
  • It’s easy to use. One big button to get a ticket.
  • On exit, one slot to feed in your ticket, then feed in a credit card, then get a receipt.
  • They’ve got really nice industrial design. The ticket unit, and the barrier device follow the same design. We know they’re connected.
  • It works even in winter. In Ottawa, the devices even have a little winter jacket to augment their built-in heaters.
  • The device is part of a system that includes wireless payment, and wireless connectivity between devices.
  • It evolved from ski lift ticket systems in Europe – so it’s cool!

It’s one of those devices you look forward to using!

Well Done SkiData! US Dealer: TCSIntl

Here’s some brochures: skidata-parkingcolumnunlimited-450.pdf, skidata-apt-450-folder.pdf. Here’s an article in Forbes.

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