Using Arduino For Communication Device?

Hi there,

I'm currently working on a University project for my Final Year and currently have some proposed ideas for a social device which can be worn or attached to clothing.

My plan is to create a device which sends messages or other information using a sender/receiver which then stores the information, ready to be read later either through USB or simply viewing it on the device itself. It may even work in a similar way to another, similar project I have found on Instructables (see below). The user would simply wear this item of clothing in a specific environment (such as a nightclub - speaking hyperthetically) which would allow communication between people just by walking past another person with the same device. Think of this as a close-proximity, P2P-type device for communication.


I have talked the project over with my peers and found that there are two main options to creating such a device, which are:

- Use several Arduinos (one for each user) which send and receive information via RFID Readers/Writers (again, a set of each for each user) attached to the board. One problem with this is that it will be incredibly bulky and unlikely to survive being washed or put through the punishment that clothing often takes on a daily basis.

- Use a central Arduino board which receives information from Arduino XBees which receive information from the central Arduino and are sent information back from it. One problem with this is when several devices come into contact with each other, the central Arduino will be unable to tell which message has come from and should go to another device. However, one plus point with this is that I've heard XBees (Series 2 only) will be able to send and receive information on their own and are incredibly small.

If you have any ideas on how this device could be produced or if you have any comments on the above, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate any feedback you may have.