Archive for June, 2006

Dorkbot Ghent and ‘De RFID Ambassade’

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.

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Project relevance

As I’m proceeding on my research I’m getting quite deep into the matter. The possibilities I create with my project tell the story of a future scenario. In this project RFID is a technique being used, but more important, it’s also the subject of this story.

The Story Tool I create is enabling users to add their own stories to objects of their choice. These stories form a second dimension. My goal is to place those user stories in the same context of all objects being tagged by RFID. This way these stories strengthen my project and make the scenario more interesting to people unaware of RFID.

Download the PDF document by clicking on the image below:

Project relevance

Project description

An update of my Project Description. The PDF document can be downloaded here:
Project Description.pdf

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Java MIDlet flow chart

Because I know some Java but I’m not a Java expert a very important decision factor in chosing the platform is my ability to actually realize the programming work. I created a flow chart to give an overview of what would have to be possible in the system I want to create.

Have a look at it here, or click the image to download the PDF file.
Java MIDlet Interaction preview

Project platform possibilities

The last couple of days I’ve been looking into the platform possibilities of my project. I have several options, although not all of them are just as good. I’m really looking for a mobile device because that would emphasize the freedom of the user.

In a perfect world that would be a user’s cellphone with embedded RFID/NFC reader and a nice and big screen that would be able to show a goodlooking and user friendly user interface. Add on top of that a camera and microphone. At the moment there are no cellphones with such specifications. What are the options?

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