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Siemens Lobby Is Lined With RFID-enabled SKIN

At the company's regional headquarters in Vienna, a 34-foot-long bank of interactive high-definition touch screens displays personalized information provided by a Semantic Knowledge Information Network linked to an RFID reader.
By Rhea Wessel
Sep 30, 2011Visitors being escorted through the lobby of Siemens' Central and Eastern European headquarters, located in Vienna, Austria, must feel like they're walking through cyberspace: The area is outfitted with a 10.5-meter-long (34-foot-long) bank of RFID-enabled interactive displays that respond to each visitor's presence, inviting that person to interact with multimedia content presented on the screen.

The stretch of high-definition touch screens shows content from various social-media sources that has been collected and contextualized. According to its designer, Austrian firm Uma, the tool is the first semantic display product on the market. A semantic display provides multimedia content that is collected via a semantic search engine, which employs the rules of semantics—or language meaning—to narrow down search terms, instead of using the type of ranking algorithms on which Google and most other search engines depend.


The SKIN display installed within Siemans' lobby measures more than 30 feet in length.

The displays may be equipped with "person-tracking" technology that allows the system to react to the presence of someone standing before or passing by a display. Those moving close to the displays can be recognized in two ways: either through an optional movement sensor that recognizes movements using a real-time 3-D sensor camera that detects motion at a distance, or via an optional RFID solution. The latter method identifies individuals wearing an RFID badge or carrying an RFID card as they pass by the RFID readers mounted near the touch screens.

When the RFID option is used, multimedia content pre-selected and saved on the product's content-management system—such as pictures or slideshows—is linked to the unique ID number stored on a specific item's RFID tag.

Once the system recognizes a particular tag number, the content is displayed so that the badge or card holder (often a visitor) can view the information that the host (frequently a Siemens employee) wants him or her to see.

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