Cost: EID Tags 3-pack, $18.95 (50% off for RBR Premium Members)
How Obtained: review samples from company
Available: company website
Colors: black, white, red
RBR Sponsor: yes
Time tested: several weeks
New Scanable ID Tags Enhance Road Safety
If you’ve ever crashed on the road, or stopped to help a fellow rider who has, you can easily understand the value of readily accessible personal identification on road rides. First responders need to know your name, your emergency contact info, any medical conditions or drug allergies you may have — and the list goes on.
Most roadies carry, or wear, some form of ID. It’s typically part of the total kit we put on, or bring along, for every ride. I’ve long worn an ankle band with an ID tag affixed, and I carry copies of my driver’s license and health insurance ID card in my seat bag, and another copy of both in my JerseyBin, which I keep in my middle jersey pocket.
Static forms of ID, like printed tags or labels, have shortcomings, though. First, there’s a finite amount of space on which to put your information. What do you leave off? A list of drugs you take? Or allergies to certain medications? Or your spouse’s work or mobile phone number? And what happens if your emergency contact info changes? Or you lose your ID tag? Somebody out there may have your personal information.
Interactive ID Shows the Way
A new, simple and easy-to-use solution that overcomes these shortcomings is the ECOS Emergency ID System, which can communicate identification, emergency contact and other important information to emergency medical personnel in a thoroughly modern way.
The principal component of the Emergency ID System is the EID Tag, which is a small (approximately 1-5/16″ x 3/4″, 33.3mm x 19mm) plastic tag printed with a unique quick response (QR) code. When the QR code on your EID Tag is scanned by a smartphone or other scanning device, your “Emergency ID Profile” appears. (The Tags also have a 7-digit code printed on them that can be typed into the ECOS system.)
You create your specific emergency ID profile by logging on to the ECOS website. You can include any information that you wish to appear when your EID Tag is scanned. You can also change the information at any time. Moreover, you can create different profiles for different uses; for example, if you are on a tour and wish to create a profile with contact info specific to the tour. Then you just link your Tag(s) to that profile while you’re on the tour. If you lose your EID Tag, you can easily deactivate the QR code so your profile no longer appears when that EID Tag is scanned.
3-Packs Allow for Varied Use
ECOS sells the EID Tags individually andin 3-packs. You can connect any number of EID Tags to your “emergency profile,” which means you can carry tags with you in multiple locations (one on your bike, one on your person, one in your cycling wallet, for example).
For my test I attached one to the zipper of my seat bag (a red Tag, which stands out nicely against the black bag), and I taped one to a piece of paper, which I placed in my JerseyBin.
I set up both Tags to link to my personal profile on the ECOS site, so that when scanned, both my EID Tags pull up my same profile.
After I first created my “Emergency ID Profile” on the ECOS site, I decided to add some information to it. It was as simple as logging in and making the addition on a simple input screen. Once saved, That’s the information that shows up when my Tags are scanned.
The only small shortcoming I experienced using the Tags had to do with the size of the “split ring” — the little coil of wire on the tag that you use to attach it to other things. The split rings on the first generation of Tags was fairly small and hard to work with. They have since been replaced with larger split rings to make them easier to work with.
Finally, there are no subscription fees for the ongoing use of the ECOS EID — unlike with some other, similar, systems. You buy the Tags, and you’re off and running.
Safety, in all respects, is a major issue for roadies. In my book, any product that adds to my safety — and that is easy to use, sensible and cost-effective — is one I will add to my “safety arsenal.” The ECOS Emergency ID System certainly fits the bill.
The company also sells adhesive (stickers) and bracelet versions of the ID system as well.
John Marsh is the editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of “less than podium” talent, he sees himself as RBR’s Ringmaster, guiding the real talent (RBR’s great coaches, contributors and authors) in bringing our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That’s what we’re all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John’s full bio.