I went to the January meeting of Make Philly last week (or so). After watching the neat presentation by VJ No-Carrier on hacking Nintendo NES carts I somehow got recruited into a group using RFID tags for an audio/visual installation. So now I’m learning to play with RFID tags.
At the moment I have the Parallax reader communicating nicely with an Arduino, and then to a multimedia computer via serial. The project requires multiple readers, however, and I’m debating ways to get them all speaking with the software which is going to drive the show (written by someone else in Max/MSP). Any ideas?
I’m thinking of wiring multiple readers to one Arduino and tacking on some kind of reader ID byte to the RFID tag’s 10 byte ID. That way the software can sort out what to do when each reader reports a tag number. Alternatively, it would be easy to connect each reader to a USB chip, but then we’d need to run everything through USB hubs and the software would have to deal with multiple serial connections (right?).
There’s also the issue of cabling. We don’t know the size of the venue(s) for the installation yet. As far as scalability is concerned, in both the number of readers and spacial relationship, it might be best to go wireless…maybe with the Xbee radios? Something else to learn.