Last weekend (23rd and 24th of June 2006) another Dorkbot was held in Nieuwpoorttheater in Ghent. Dorkbot is a global festival with “People doing strange things with electricity.” ‘De Ambassade’ (the embassy) is a place in Nieuwpoorttheater where artists and students collectively research the relation between art, society and the balance of power. This time an ‘RFID embassy’ was set up as a research project by the collective nMn (naarstige Media nijverheid).
Friday night’s theme was RFID. I was invited to do a lecture on my experiences in my research project on RFID. I especially talked about the evolution I found in the way RFID is applied. My presentation “Evolving RFID Devices” can be downloaded here:
Presentation Dorkbot Gent 23rd of June 2006.pdf
That same night Rob van Kranenburg spoke about ‘RFID and Pervasive Computing”. An interesting lecture on the consequences of RFID and the way it is entering our lives. He was followed by Melanie Rieback of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, creator of the RFID virus. She’s researching the privacy issues involved with RFID from the context of Computer Science. Although she did mention the virus, a great deal of her talk was about her RFID Guardian, a mobile device protecting your privacy. Later that night Tilman Runge and Christopher Hirschmann were supposed to talk about their RFID Zapper. Unfortunately their presentation was cancelled that night. nMe itself built the RFIDude: a robot driving around the room autonomous. Visitors were handed out RFID badges with their hobbies associated to them. A built in reader allowed the robot to scan people’s badges and show their relationship with other people on a big screen.
It was an interesting night, with interesting talks. Later that night some lively conversations arose. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the next night, missing out on the RFID zapper and the other interesting projects like Johannes Taelman’s DIY touch screen. A nice day in Ghent with lovely weather slightly made up for that.
Although I expected an audience focused on RFID I was positively surprised that uninitiated people came by, interested in learning about this new technology. Also my compliments for the organisation. Some photographs were made. If I can get hold of some of them they might show up here later.