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Photos: No place to hide at RFID tracking party

Everyone at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's RFID reception will know if you've spent too much time at the bar.
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1 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

RFID reception

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art hosted an RFID reception the evening of Oct. 27, 2005. Attendees were handed radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to place on their clothes. Then their movements were tracked, and their location throughout the evening was indicated on a screen.

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2 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

RFID reader

Four RFID readers made by Alien Technology were placed in the museum's reception area so that people's movements throughout the room could be tracked. This green reader was located by the bar at the front door. People whose RFID history was mostly green or blue spent most of the time at the bar. Red indicated dancing, and yellow talking.

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3 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

creators

Karen Marcelo (left) of Survival Research Labs, Eric Paulos of Intel Research Laboratory (center) and Anthony Burke of the University of California at Berkeley's architecture department (right) created this RFID demonstration. Another member of the project, Berkeley lecturer David Ross, is not pictured.

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4 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

RFID tag

Visitors of the MoMA's reception on Thursday evening were given a RFID tag to wear. Each tag was implanted with a unique number that could be tracked when it came within range of one of the RFID tag readers.

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5 of 5 Bill Detwiler/ZDNet

RFID readings

This output from the RFID tag reader, compiled by a Java program, was beamed on a screen and updated every minute. Each vertical column indicates a separate RFID tag. The colors show where in the room the tag was read. Newer arrivals are to the right, and black means that the person left the reception.

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