SmartBadge: An Electronic Conference Badge using RF and IR Communications
Thesis DisciplineElectrical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
This thesis describes the design and development of the SmartBadge; an electronic replacement for the standard paper name badge worn at conferences and similar events. Both hardware and software have been designed for the SmartBadge; the hardware has been developed around a CC1010 microcontroller and RF transceiver. Attached to this are an infrared transceiver, an LCD display, some LEDs, buttons and a piezoelectric buzzer. There is also an antenna for the RF transceiver whose design is the result of SuperNEC  simulations. Protocol software development has focussed on the communication between a SmartBadge and other badges and base stations, yet there is still space available in the CC1010s flash memory to develop applications beyond the business card exchange example developed to demonstrate the communication software. The SmartBadge communicates with other badges by using the infrared transceiver. In the business card application a SmartBadge is worn by a person and is collecting the ID and a time counter from SmartBadges worn by other facing people as this person mingles through a conference or similar event. This data is then collected in real time using the RF transceiver to communicate with base stations which would be scattered around the venue. The RF network has been designed as a single hop network and a new Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol has been designed to allow the SmartBadges to share the links to the base stations while conserving as much energy as possible. This protocol is called Uplink MAC (or U-MAC) and is described in section 6.2.