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RFID Web Integration

Project Background

Sometimes the best projects come from within. We try to foster an open and creative environment and encourage employees to follow their tech interests. As a part of that we work on what we call “Brattle Labs” projects. The RFID Web Integration project is a perfect example of a Brattle Labs project coming to fruition.

We’re proud of our space and we like to think it invites creativity. The RFID Web Integration project stemmed from our desire to experiment with RFID technology coupled with our desire to show-off our space in a cool way that could be interactive on the website.

Project Implementation

The idea was to have employees check into different rooms in our office and have it reflected on our website in real-time. Whenever you visit our site and see a collection of little pink and blue people in the bottom left you can know who’s here and where they are. The hardware is fairly simple. Everyone has their own RFID card and we have mounted RFID readers (both wired and wireless) in each room. The RFID readers can communicate over WiFi or through a USB connection to a desktop in that room.

To make the magic happen we are communicating with a homemade desktop app that lives on desktops around the office. These desktop apps utilize a Push API to communicate with our server. That updates our database in real time which subsequently updates the people you see on the website.

Behind the scenes this system integrates with Google Talk over XMPP to log us into and out of our proactive chat application on our desktops and laptops around the office.

Other Applications

This same technology is used in SubItUp’s time clock feature. Employees use their cards to check into our out of their shifts. This updates their hours and statuses live on SubItUp which feeds realtime data to our labor cost reporting tool.

Whos here? (Mouse Over)
Goodwill "Working with Brattle has been fantastic. I know that I can pick up the phone and Bob will always be available. That's really what sold me: the responsiveness." - James Harder - Director of Communications

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