Monday, November 13, 2006

Metal Tags--Mecayla, Ahmed, and Kalina

COMPONENTS:

Input: Metal Actuator Tag
Processing: Metal Detector (Coils) and electronic circuit processing board
Output: L.E.D. or single flexinol wire (swappable with many simple output components)


SYSTEM:

Modules:
The system has two major components—the metal detector and the metal actuator tag. Each component is an autonomous parasite-like element that is small, versatile, and can be applied to a variety of architectural surfaces. The modules are meant to be a low-tech alternative to RFID sensors or any responsive information giving sensor system.

Site:
The system is not site specific. As a “parasite” system, the components can be attached to or become part of many architectural surfaces. Examples of site situations could include:
Retail stores—Tracking sales or items
Bars/Lounges—Interactive environments
Libraries—Tracking books
Museum Exhibits—Counting people or creating responsive exhibits


The “Twist”:
The metal detector component is not used to detect the presence of random metal in or on people and things, but is used to “read” the presence of pre-specified objects or people marked with a specific actuator. In this scenario, the two “parasites” (the metal detector and the metal actuator tag) work as a controlled system and can be used for a variety of functional and/or entertaining purposes in a number of architectural conditions (rather than being left to random and unspecified triggering of the system). The human uses the system as an interactive environment for their specific needs, therefore redefining the negative connotation of metal detectors.

Vendors:
Metal Detector (Dismantled)—RadioShack
Metal Detector Casing—Materials to be determined
Various Metals—Art supply stores

Technical Issues and Tests:
Determine one or more metal types to which the metal detector can be specific so as to not register random nearby metals.
Design casing for metal detector coils and processing board.
Design metal actuators to be cheap, disposable, small, and convenient.
Test “parasites” at multiple locations and for multiple uses.
Refine details and produce extra modules.

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