Sensor Walk

In Sensor Workshop we had to do another Sensor Walk like we did in Physical Computing which is walk around and notice any sensors around you. I didn’t have to go far as I found myself having a sensor right in front of me at work.

It’s the RFID by HID. HID is an enterprise class provider of security ID solutions for large instituitions and in this case NYU. NYU transitioned to the RFID system this year requiring all employees and students to get a new ID. The previous ID method used was the magnetic strip which is still on the current system. I’ve been issued these ID’s before for my parking priveldges at work and access pass for areas at work.

At first people didn’t know what to do with them thus causing wuite a buildup at the entrance of Bobst Library during the initial rollout in the fall of 2011.

These RFIDs are running on proprietary software and hardware which makes them unfriendly to hobbyists or for the normal ITP crowd. These RFIDs are secure in a way that it has to authenticate to a central server in order to get information and decide whether or not to allow access. Each system is customized per client. But the sensor itself can read a variety of systems just as long as the system has been configured to accept it.

The particular one in Bobst Library is located in this Sensor Report at the ITP Sensor Wiki. In short, fellow ITPers don’t bother trying to get information off the RFID. You won’t get it without the key. You’l have better luck with the magnetic strip at the back.

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