Given that the Opal smartcards used for public transport in NSW use Near-Field Communication (NFC), it was probably only going to be a matter of time until someone wrote an app that could read the data contained on Opal cards. Well, that’s now happened — Sydney developer Alistair Phillips (who goes by the name ToastedMint) has released an updated version of the My Opal app, which (amongst other things) allows you to read the contents of your Opal.
Why would you want to do this? Well, with a cheap in-app purchase (0.99c) you gain access to the option, which allows you to read whats on your card, the exact same way that Opal readers can read what’s on their too. The information accessible includes the balance, total number of transactions made, how many journeys made this week, when you last travelled and which mode of travel. You can also see whether an Opal card has a journey in progress.
It’s noteworthy that this information may not be the same as what’s shown on the Opal website; changes made may not have synced down to your card, and seeing as the card (rather than what’s in the cloud) is what determines access (or denies it) through an Opal reader, that can sometimes cause issues.
Using this kind of access to your Opal card, you can readily work out when you last tapped off, so as to make full use of the 60 minute ‘transfer window’, to save on some of your travel costs. Anyway, it’s a cool app, and our readers in Sydney may find it useful!