Archives for category: Scenario

I have several bigger posts in the making, but for now just another possible scenario I stumbled over. The health status of Australian firefighters are monitored by some data-transmitting pills. It isn’t really explained on which technology this relies on, but it stills seems to be a nice scenario where enhanced RFID tags could play a role!?


Latest example of action figures using RFID/NFC to be represented with in a videogame. Will be probably a big merchandise enhancer for Disney, cause you really have to buy extra features for your video game in terms of these exisiting objects. I don’t know if the position of the body Parts can also be recognized and represented in the virtual game!? We will see…

Seems that nearly every week there is something announced about action figures using RFID technology. Just stumbled over the news that Activision has a Toys to Life series with the Skylanders Swap Force being the latest crossplatform, that allows in-game avatar representations of the toys plus storing unique information in the toys.

  1. 21. September 2008: Using an AVR as an RFID tag by Author Beth (Micah Dowty) and version 1.0 of the avrfid.S . Also found as the Emulator RFID.
  2. 15. June 2010: AVRFID 1.1 Firmware by Author Beth (Micah Dowty) version 1.1 of the avrfid.S which incoporates a few patches by Luke Koops who improved the FSK modulation for HID tags, so that the resulting waveform is much more regular and Cesar Fernandez who described the HID card format in more detail.
  3. 16. May 2011: Duct Taped AVRFID by Author Beth (Micah Dowty) uses her version 1.1 avrfid.S
  4. November 2011: AVRFID PCB Implementation by Daniel Smith
  5. September 2012: RFID Spoofing by Eric Barch who only uses Beth’s (Micah Dowty)  HID part of her version 1.1 avrfid.S .
  6. 1. December 2012: AVRFID 1.2 Firmware last update by Daniel Smith on his version 1.2 of Beth’s avrfid.S which adds support for 35 bit HID Corporate 1000 format and fixed 26 bit parity.
  7. 27. December 2012: AVR RFID Multipass by Trammell Hudson of the NYC Resistor hacker collective, which come up with an optimized version of Beth’s version 1.2 avrfid.S and convert it to C ending in the avrfid2.c file. Beth (Micah Dowty) welcomes this transition as it uses less of the 8kB flash memory of the AVRs etc… and has an nice application scenario of an action figure, whose body parts trigger different IDs in the AVRFID tag. The whole code in C for latest AVRFID tag and the reader can be found here. In his post Hudson also describes how easy it is to reprogramm AVRs with some Bus Pirate Tools, which provide an recovery clock. But a few patches are still needed!

Nearly all search results for RFID on Hack A Day are really interessting examples of what is currently possible with this technology. For example there is the open source passive RFID tag cloner and the configurable RFID tag. The last one (here on its official homepage) is a really close example of what I want to archieve with my AVRFIDs.

Three important works by Roy Want:

Pervasive Pheromone-Based Interaction with RFID Tags” by Marco Mamei and Franco Zambonelli is a more theoretical work about coordinating activities with objects by leaving little informations on distributed memory aka digital pheromones realized by RFID tags. They distinguish between object tags and location tags. The actual algorithm is a little puzzled out. In short they increment so called hop counters and timestamps, which are stored in the location tags and compared with the ones in the object tags passing by. A critical issue for their system to work, is a fitting evaporation threshold of the stored information. Further it is fundamental how the ratio between the number of tracked objects and the tag storage capacity works out. They studied their algorithm within a computer simulation and some remote toy cars on RFID tag grid. The tested algorithms were proactive vs. parasitic diffusion. A few interessting statements are:

Read the rest of this entry »

Another nice use case example is the RFID pill dispensation, which helps older people taking the right pills at the right time.

Probably the most relevant related work for my thesis was published in the paper “Rethinking RFID: Awareness and Control For Interaction With RFID Systems” by Nicolai Marquardt, Alex S. Taylor, Nicolas Villar and Saul Greenberg, 2010. They built many different paper RFID tags with enhanced functionalities, with which they were able to provide reader awareness and information control to the user. I have rebuilt a few of these paper RFID tags myself (1,2,3,4).

They also list the privacy risks of sensitive personal informations on RFID tags, which are:

  • unauthorized scanning
  • unauthorized location tracking of individuals
  • eavesdropping of authorized communication
  • leakage of biometric data stored on RFID tags
  • hacked RFID deployments
  • cloning of cards

The international panel of the 2008 ACM Conference on Wireless Network Security publish 6 interessting presentation slides about this topic with the superordinated title: “RFID Security and Privacy: Long-term Research or Short-term Tinkering?

Kjetil Nordby describs in her work “Multi-field relations in designing for short-range RFID“, a good interaction approach for RFID.

Four types of relations are distinguished:

  1. one-way: i.e. activating  sub-fields (command buttons) by selecting parent field
  2. two-way: i.e. selecting radio buttons on a smart poster
  3. sequence: copying information from one tag to the other; related to Direct Manipulation techniques (copy&paste, drag&drop)
  4. multiple relations: two or more simultanous field intersections (coupled presence), i.e. two phones placed on tags in separate locations instantly set up a video conference between the phones