Long-Range RFID Leaflets

Pick a card, any card. [Andrew Quitmeyer] and [Madeline Schwartzman] make sure that any card you pick will match their NYC art installation. “Replantment” is an interactive art installation which invites guests to view full-size leaf molds casts from around the world.

A receipt file with leaf images is kept out of range in this art installation. When a viewer selects one, and carries it to the viewing area, an RFID reader tells an Arduino which tag has been detected. Solid-state relays control two recycled clothing conveyors draped with clear curtains. The simple units used to be back-and-forth control but through dead-reckoning, they can present any leaf mold cast front-and-center.

Clothing conveyors from the last century weren’t this smart before, and it begs the question about inventory automation in small businesses or businesses with limited space.

We haven’t seen much long-range RFID, probably because of cost. Ordinary tags have been read at a distance with this portable reader though, and NFC has been transmitted across a room, sort of.

29 thoughts on “Long-Range RFID Leaflets

  1. I hate to be the first troll but wtf? “Now our leaves from around the world are photosynthesizing and creating a future architecture of extraordinary beauty and energy reduction”

    Oh, unless of course by energy reduction she means all the energy used to make the exhibit function.

    1. Artist = You talk utter bullshit. Other people nod in agreement and drink the coolaid. You sell your product for millions.
      Engineer = You correct people for talking bullshit. Other people hate your smugness. Your product barely makes a living.

  2. I thought the tickets would cause the machines to present you with that particular leaf to examine, but it seems like it just turns the machines on and starts a light show. So why do they have unique RFID tags to begin with? Why not just a PIR sensor or something to detect when somebody walks up?

    1. From the hackaday.io project:

      “[…]The machines don’t actually have any sensors that let them know what position they are in, BUT we can count the amount of time they are on and in which direction to approximate (using dead reckoning) about what leaves are on display in the front of the conveyor! Getting this fidelity really nailed down well is for a later iteration of the project.”

      Apparently, it’s not later yet.

  3. Ok, so how do I pick up my dry cleaning if the darn thing doesn’t stop rotating and blinding me with that fossil fuel powered light show? I’m not sure how to appreciate that thing?

  4. I definitely prefer to talk with a real person about trees, photosynthesis and ways to generate energy by similar techniques as nature does than standing in such a loud piece of art which only makes its builders smile…

    The hack I this case probably is to keep oneself from runing away!

  5. Looks cool.
    The one thing I didn’t like was very very noisy.
    I know the machines are for clothes dry cleaners, But I think they need to goto a belt drive system so that you can’t here all the noise.
    Nice concept for art, but other then the noise its missing something.
    Keep trying.

    1. You can start with the manual that this project used.

  6. …..I don’t get it.
    Sure it’s a cool art piece with an interesting mode of interaction, the phosphorescent powder makes for a nice light show but it seems like they were trying to send a message, and I just don’t get what it was supposed to be?

    Minor nit pick, these look like casts of leaves. Molds are the negative of an object, casts are the positive.

  7. People…. it is ART…. stop thinking like engineers and being critical… this is art with higher technical content than most Artsy creations. Reach deep and turn on your emotions.

    “May I say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed serving with humans? I find their illogic and foolish emotions a constant irritant.” – Star Trek, season 3, episode 7 (“Day of the Dove,” 1968)

    1. I disagree, its art in the sense that it is an application of human creative skill and imagination. It also passes the test that it provides no practical value. I would also say that it is a conversational piece in that it has created a lot of debate among the viewers of the piece. The question I would ask is how developed are the skills and imagination of the artists? Hopefully they will progress. A good follow on piece would be something that is even more inane and makes even more ridiculous claims thus creating even more lulz amongst the HoD reviewers.

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