A few days ago our own Eric followed up Firesheep with the release of Farebot, an Android app to display data from RFID public transit fare cards (ORCA cards for example). The Nexus S has a built-in NFC radio, allowing users to read and parse the data being stored on their transit cards. Farebot is currently geared for the Seattle market at the moment, but its fuctionality will expand as more developers integrate other systems around the world. This is the sort of thing that will become more popular as NFC cards become further integrated in phones.
When it was announced that the Nexus S would have a built-in NFC radio, I immediately started thinking about the potential of using cell phones with RFID public transit fare systems. The day the Gingerbread source code was released, I picked up a Nexus S and began working on a proof-of-concept application that can read data from transit cards. Though a vacation got in the way, today I’m happy to announce FareBot!
Currently FareBot can parse and display balance and trip history information from Seattle’s ORCA card, and can dump raw data from any other MIFARE DESFire card including San Francisco’s Clipper card. FareBot is open-source and designed to be flexible so that hopefully other developers will add support for other types of cards.