As part of the unveiling of the Motorola RAZR in New York I was involved in developing a unique welcoming interactive for those invited to the show.

The concept of this interactive was visitors would be presented a name-tag when they arrived at the venue, once they then entered the seating area they would be greeted with their name on the big screen and a custom welcome message would also wrap around the room for them.

The name-tags that were given had a RFID chip in them, when the person then walked past 1 of 2 RFID sensors the information was relayed to an application that retrieved personal information of that person. This information was then sent to my application and displayed.

The display setup was an interesting one. 2 massive LED screens and 2 projectors – 2 computers were used 1 screen and 1 projector coming from each. There was a 5th screen that was a video that had the Motorola logo in it that I was not in control of. A 3rd machine was used for the application receiving the RFID message and sending information out to my application.

The machines and my makeshift work area:

Some of the functionality that needed to be thought out was how to deal with groups of people entering at once and what to do if someone was lingering near the sensors too much or too often. Also developing the outputs to different resolutions and making them all line up given the differing resolutions and pitch between the screens and projectors.

Communication between the machines was achieved using so using Socket and ServerSocket and data was passed by JSON.

The flow of data worked like this. The RFID sensor was triggered, an application received this and gathered the data associated. Data was then passed to the “parent” display that converted the data to a visual display and monitored it travelling across the 1st projection screen. When it hit the end of the first projection screen the visual was then recreated for the 1st LED display and monitored until it hit the end of that screen. The data was then packaged and sent to the “child” display. Here the data again was then converted to display on the 2nd LED and then 2nd projector.

One of the sensors used:

Here it is in action with people walking in add triggering the action.

Was a great experience working on this project. I was in Los Angeles for 3 weeks to dev it with a backend developer and a designer and then in New York for 5 days to set it up.

Staring at the word Motorola must have had some sub-concious effect on me… as I actually bought the RAZR HD months later!