with the state of Hawaii and in the theater industry.

The Woodinville, Wash., system developer, which has been making headway with relatively small and focused implementations of chip card technology, said last week that it would collaborate with SmartCard Solutions Inc. of Aspen, Colo., on a test for a major theater chain.

The chain was not named. The companies referred in a joint announcement to a memorandum of understanding that could lead to a fully integrated ticketing solution involving both attended and unattended vending along with smart card access.

Pathways, which recently observed its 12th anniversary, announced another memorandum of understanding in May for rights to the electronic purse technology of Proton World International. In both cases, Pathways would be gaining access to systems that could enhance its Sprinticket ticketing dispensers, currently installed at ski areas, amusement parks, and transportation terminals.

Of the SmartCard Solutions agreement, Pathways said, Preliminary discussions indicate that the new systems will provide remote and unattended ticketing, customer loyalty, stored value, financial integration, and the capability to interface with existing enterprise sales and accounting systems.

We have been looking for some time to find a complementary company, both technically and philosophically, and a unique business opportunity that we can combine to develop and implement better, more advanced solutions, said Pathways Group executive vice president Bob Haller. He said we have found those pieces'' with SmartCard Solutions and anticipate great acceptance and success in bringing new enterprise solutions to our chosen markets.

In Hawaii, Pathways announced July 22 that it would provide the official Web site for the Hawaii Millennium Commission, as part of a year-long Dawn of the New Millennium celebration in the state. Four days later, Pathways said it would supply smart cards for use at an estimated 3,800 sites and in Internet transactions.

The vendor said as many as 250,000 cards could be issued.

Pathways, which had previously gotten involved in a school-based smart card program in Hawaii, said it plans several millennium initiatives, including issuance of a series of commemorative cards for collectors, promotional programs to encourage merchant participation, and a Keiki card for children. (Keiki is the Hawaiian word for small child.)

The Hawaii Millennium Commission has said that its project is supported by the 220-member Retail Merchants Association, 540-member Restaurant Association, 640-member Hotel Association, and 30-member Chinatown Merchant Association.

We are excited about the official millennium smart card and Web site, said Isaac Hokama, the commission's project manager. Through the smart card, local businesses and retailers can provide our kama'aina residents unique offers and savings on events and products advertised on our Web site. With the dawn of the millennium approaching, it is appropriate that we make use of such innovative technology.

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