Kids check-in and check-out with hacked Mir:ror and Ztamps RFID on an iMac (OSX)

Picture of Kids check-in and check-out with hacked Mir:ror and Ztamps RFID on an iMac (OSX)
A "useful" RFID reader ? Yes M'am !

I just had the opportunity to recycle a Mir:ror from Violet (the former Nabaztag's company) I found in a garage sale.

Here is the plot : a friend of mine has set up a scheme with his kids where they text him (and their mum) every time they leave the house or return to it. This procedure could (should?) be replaced by putting an object on the RFID reader (aka 'check-in') when a kid comes home and removing said object when the kid leaves (aka 'check-out').

The Mir:ror needed a web service from the Violet company to function and said service died mid-2011, hence bricking the device. There has been some attempts to bring it back to life with the likes of "touchtag" (needs a service) or "TagEventor" (local) but I wanted something less intrusive and more self-contained.

Long story short, I connected the Mir:ror to a linux box and it showed up as /dev/hidraw0 immediately. A few of python instructions later and I basically had the core of the functionality working. The devil is in the details though and I struggled to get the script to work on OSX (the device never showed up in /dev to begin with). To the point that I thought I could write this instructable as it might be useful to others...

What you will need for this project:
- a Mir:ror from violet (about 10 / 15 euros on ebay / in a garage sale these days)
- RFID tags (Nanoztags or Ztamps that came with the Mir:ror or any ISO14443A card, ebay is your friend)
- a linux box (mine is running Fedora) or a Mac running OSX (mine is running 10.6.8).

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir:ror
- http://svay.com/blog/hacking-rfid-with-nodejs/
- http://nodejs.org/#download
- http://caspian.dotconf.net/menu/Software/SendEmail/
- http://www.gabrielserafini.com/blog/2008/08/19/mac-os-x-voices-for-using-with-the-say-command/