Recalling RFID: Timo Arnall on Increasing the Visibility of RFID

Last week the Recalling RFID seminar was held in the Balie, Amsterdam. After the first morning session which focussed on “Self, Safety, Security” the second session focussed more on the social aspects of RFID.

Timo Arnall talked about RFID in Interaction Design. We have currently entered a phase of social and tangible computing where the focus is much more on human capabilities. The current discourse about RFID is clouded by metaphors because it does not have one single shape. Arnall calls for an increasing visibility of RFID in design in order to show the different shapes and forms that RFID comes in. Every medium has its own voice and the different RFID readers and cards show us the different expressions of this voice.

Expressions might also be culturally influenced as in Japan for example, where RFID has a very friendly face:

Recalling RFID

Designers need to look at the visibility of RFID and find ways of managing and designing this visibility. The technique is usually hidden but we can design the interaction experience. How can we visualize what goes on behind the network? What are the actions that are being triggered in the network when you swipe an RFID tag? Arnall is also working on the visual language of RFID. How can we visualize different uses and actions of RFID?

Recalling RFID

Timo Arnall showed us that RFID is not only a security risk but also a potential internal action space that designers can visualize, design and potentially manage.

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