Feed the pigeons with RFID to give them urban eyes

Urban Eyes by Marcus Kirsch (UK) and Jussi Angesleva (Ireland) has won the third prize of the Fused Space competition.

Urban eyes wants to provide an alternative view to the city, using pigeons as the messengers and the CCTV camera networks overlooking the main streets and back alleys as their eyes.

CCTV cameras would be equipped with RFID tag readers and pigeons would be fed with bird seeds with embedded RFID tags (birds need stones in their digestive system, so the digital seeds would be harmless.) The seeds can be purchased in a camera shop, and come with an unique URL from where to access the data gathered by the birds the seeds are fed to.

When the pigeon flies close to a CCTV camera, its inbuilt RFID reader captures the bird’s ID and sends an image or short video clip at that moment to the urban eyes server to a unique URL. The image database of a given pigeon grows until the RFID tag is ejected from the system after roughly 12 hours.