The remaining part of the reference model we haven not looked at yet is the Rfish server. You might ask yourself why a simple lap counter should be connected to the internet at all. But if you swim more often than once a month you might well be interested in the history of your lap counts visualized as a fancy trend chart right in your web browser. Also, sending the link to your current high score to a friend might be a fun way to compete, even if you swim in different towns. Or maybe you would want to automatically publish your lap count on Twitter after every session?
Whatever your needs, once the lap count data is available on the web in a standard format like RSS, there is almost no limit to what can be done with it. This statement will of course alarm advocates of privacy. But even if the exact mechanism of how to store data on the Rfish server is not clear yet we can limit possible damage by simply not storing any personal data such as the name or email address of anybody. The only link between you and your data will be the number stored in your RFID tag. The lap counts per tag are public but you decide if you want to publish which tag is yours.
Image by Pixelsior
The mother of all Rfish servers is online at http://rfish.net/ already (albeit with rather limited functionality) but the system does not require a central server. Once the development phase is over, it should be possible to clone the server and run a separate instance. As long as the links to the Rfish community sites remain in place on the start page of every instance, users will be able to lobby for new features and to share tutorials for setting up everything and building additional Rfish reader hardware. In the case of a design decision affecting more than a single Rfish component, this blog shall retain the authority to guarantee the conceptual integrity of the overall system architecture.
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