Monday, November 13, 2006

subverting rfids

Our project, with less- and more-desperate alternates:

Project: GSAPP students who respond to our posters will be able, with the wave of a tag on the Avery 3 ½ floor, to bring up their portfolio images (or whatever images they’re like) on the floor’s flat-screen monitor, erasing the previous waver’s image.

Alternate L: The three of us, with a few lucky others, will have either portfolio images or simply text notes (“evan wuz here”) on the terrace widescreen, like above but more limited.

Alternate M: The three of us, with anyone who owes us favors, will set up the same game described above, but on a studio computer, with the rfid reader attached to a studio desk-wall, so that the reader could be tripped from either side of the wall.

Twist / Interesting:
The project exploits the outstanding characteristics of rfids as sensors: their unique identification and their subtlety, while still working within the project’s financial and programmatic limits (short range, passive tags, single reader). The project inverts the typical use of the rifd as a covert tool by which institutions track individuals or items, converting them to a tool by which individuals overtly and competitively assert their identities.


Input: Phidgets RFID reader

Processing: Flash script

Single module: One computer & screen, one rfid reader, multiple rfid tags

Number of final modules: One, with multiple tags

Vendors: The only potential additional products are rfid tags from phidgets.com. Tags cost $1-$3 each, and a prior delivery took four days.

Siting: Indoors. The possibility of using the terrace computer and monitor has been confirmed, but the details haven’t been worked out.

Our primary challenge will be to get Flash to recognize the rfid reader's output. Given our experience with flash, we expect the coding to be, while not light, relatively managable and predictable.

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