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Central PA playground equipment maker combines smart phones and barcodes for ordering new parts

Have you ever visited a playground only to see that your child's favorite piece of play equipment is broken? Those in charge of maintaining playgrounds often have to close down play structures for weeks if a necessary part has to be replaced. But a play equipment company in Lewisburg recently debuted new technology that will make it easier for customers to maintain their playgrounds.

Playworld Systems provides equipment for customers including schools, parks and public housing authorities. Now its shipments include a system called PlayPod, which connects each piece of equipment to a central database. CEO Matt Miller says Playworld had been using scannable barcodes in its catalogs. It was also developing a database of past orders so it would be easier for customers to receive replacement parts.

PlayPod connects those two ideas. Playground equipment will come with barcodes that can be scanned with a smart phone. The codes connect with the order database so playground managers can easily order the exact parts they need.

Miller thinks PlayPod can be of use to the general public, too. "You're just providing links to information," he says. For example, a township can create barcodes that allow parents to see calendars of recreation events on their smart phones. Or codes could allow parents to make small donations on their phones toward the upkeep of a park.

Source: Matt Miller, Playworld Systems
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen
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