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Designing with RFID
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Designing with RFID

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This is a short presentation of the paper 'Designing with RFID' held at the 'Tangible and Embedded Interaction 2009' conference in Cambridge UK. ...

This is a short presentation of the paper 'Designing with RFID' held at the 'Tangible and Embedded Interaction 2009' conference in Cambridge UK.

In 'Designing with RFID' we explore the potential for RFID objects in everyday contexts. Because RFID is a wireless, radio-based technology it is inherently invisible once embedded, and this raises issues around visibility and interaction. How does the addition of hidden interactive qualities influence the design of physical RFID objects? There is a need to develop tangible design qualities such as shape, materials, build quality and affordances for RFID-enabled objects.

The full paper can be found here: http://www.nearfield.org/2009/02/designing-with-rfid

This presentation comes out of the Touch project at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design : nearfield.org

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Designing with RFID Designing with RFID Document Transcript

  • Designing with RFID Einar Sneve Martinussen Timo Arnall These are the slides and notes from a presentation of the paper “Designing with RFID” held at the Tangible and Embedded Interaction conference 2009 i Cambridge (http://tei-conf.org/) Good afternoon. I'm Einar Sneve Martinussen and Iʼm a designer and researcher from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. I'm presenting the paper quot;Designing with RFIDquot; that is written by my colleague Timo Arnall and myself. In this paper we look at the physical aspects of RFID form - through design. This paper comes out of a design research-project called Touch at the design department of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Touch is a three year program that focuses on designing with various RFID technologies. Touch consist of a team of industrial and interaction designers that use design to understand, communicate and develop RFID.
  • RFID is, as I´m sure most of you are familiar with, short for Radio Frequency Identification and is a abundant, inexpensive and flexible technology consisting of an antenna and a small amount of silicon memory. At its simplest: when a passive RFID tag is in range of a powered reader it will communicate a small amount of data that indicates precence or identity. RFID offers many material opportunities and constraints for designers. RFID tags can be embedded in just about anything, and being truly wireless, they don't require physical openings for network or power connections. But they are also extremely limited in range and are vulnerable to being broken and damaged by physical movement, temperature and moisture.Because RFID is a wireless, radio-based technology it is inherently invisible once embedded, and this raises issues around visibility and interaction. One of the central questions we address is: How does the addition of hidden interactive qualities influence the design of RFID-enabled objects?
  • RFID is emerging in services and consumer products as a method for input and interaction. Although RFID is relatively well known from a technical perspective, the methods for designing with RFID are less well understood, particularly the physical aspects of RFID form. What are the attributes of RFID that allow us to approach RFID form and interaction? And how do we translate these attributes into a design vocabulary that designers can use as inspiration for new and innovative RFID products. RFID technology is being used in a wide range of activities, from daily interactions with transport to playful behaviour in toys. But the forms that currently dominate the design of RFID products emerge from industrial and utilitarian contexts. Many of the physical aspects of RFID interaction are being overlooked and the form of these RFID objects are largely limited to the most basic level of encapsulation and packaging.
  • To understand the ways that RFID tags have been designed into services and consumer products, we have conducted a product review that documents the physical aspects of RFID products. This product review shows many uses for RFID but limited exploration of design qualities such as materials, shape, size, construction, manufacture, build quality, affordance or metaphors. As we see in these images the RFID component of products is usually: rectangular, plastic, flat and its a secondary add-on to the main form of the actual products.
  • In order to understand the possible design qualities of RFID we used many different design processes. These included:
  • In order to understand the possible design qualities of RFID we used many different design processes. These included: 1 - Retro-fitting tags to found things and products in order to understand the possibilities and limitations of using existing shapes as RFID objects.
  • In order to understand the possible design qualities of RFID we used many different design processes. These included: 1 - Retro-fitting tags to found things and products in order to understand the possibilities and limitations of using existing shapes as RFID objects. 2 - Designing discreet objects that explore and emphasis specific attributes of RFID. And creating applications and experiments in order to evaluate them.
  • In order to understand the possible design qualities of RFID we used many different design processes. These included: 1 - Retro-fitting tags to found things and products in order to understand the possibilities and limitations of using existing shapes as RFID objects. 2 - Designing discreet objects that explore and emphasis specific attributes of RFID. And creating applications and experiments in order to evaluate them. 3 - And using sketching and 3D visualisations of physical forms and abstractions of RFID radio-fields. These enabled us to evaluate and reflect on the things that had been made. These processes resulted in a typology of RFID form and ways to communicate design qualities of RFID. These include properties such as direction, balance, ergonomics and geometry and is communicated through design and visualisations.
  • The outcome of this project is mainly two things: 1 - Its the beginnings of a language of forms for communicating RFID from a design perspective. Its a visual typology of forms and a set of new mental models to change the way designers think about RFID. This is meant to inspire us and other designers to create new and innovative RFID products. 2 - The second outcome has to do with technology as material and the notion that a technology like RFID can be re- imagined through design. Thank you.
  • nearfield.org nearfield.org