Coaster Controlled HTPC

RFID

These days, HTPCs are becoming more and more common, however controlling the content elegantly can be a painfully annoying problem. Roteno Labs have come up with a wonderful solution they call the RFiDJ. Similar to the RFID phone we covered earlier, they used a set of picture frame coasters and mounted descriptive pictures as well as unique RFID tags in each one. When a coaster is placed in the sensor area the server begins streaming that particular selection, including local news, This Week in Tech podcast, and other specific albums. Roteno Labs even managed to include a “shuffle” tag which would play content randomly out of a library. The end result is very well put together, excellently documented, and there is even a working video after the break.

8 thoughts on “Coaster Controlled HTPC

  1. “I am attempting to simplify the interface to my music”

    This looks cool and everything, but surely a more “simple” way to interface with your HTPC would not involve creating a physical coaster for every playlist/streaming source you might have.

    3 or 4 mouse/key-presses a day have been replace by what I assume are fairly expensive devices for the role they really play. Awesome toy, but total fail on the cost to benefit ratio IMHO.

  2. Anon: I think you are confusing simpler interaction with technical complexity. I think the author is trying to simplify his interaction with his music library. It can be technically complex to create simple interfaces. I do not think his solution scales beyond 10 playlists but for using with your favorite playlists this is a great idea.

  3. This is cool, but I dunno… Doesn’t having to shuffle through physical media defeat the purpose of having a HTPC? Anyway, if I were this guy’s friend I’d give him a high five.

  4. Looks like a great idea, and I can think of another application: Making it easier for elderly people to pick & listen to radio stations (or music collection) on their computer. (Probably easier than using most regular radios as well)

  5. What about putting tags in every cd case in your collection. Then you have a shelf you place the case on and that album starts playing. That would be kind of cool.

  6. A swipecard system, stick the RFID reader on the wall (make it look stylish of course) then just swipe a card with an image of a band/playlist icon over the reader and sit back and enjoy.

    The reader can be placed anywhere, embedded in a table perhaps even in the arm of your sofa, it could easily be made small enough to insert just under the fabric.

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