Pic Tap Toe

In June of 2013, allen & gerritsen grew with the acquisition of Philadelphia based Neiman. As a way for our employees to get to know their counter parts in another city, we created this RFID project utilizing the wall of digital displays in each office’s common area, which just so happened to represent a tic-tac-toe board.

We’ve wanted to get more familiar with near field technology, and this gave us the perfect opportunity to use it while building a bridge between our two offices.

Vulcan EBF–25

About the project

The thought was that we could get to know our new coworkers better as individuals if we got a glimpse into their personal lives through the pictures they take. So we asked employees in each office to volunteer their Instagram streams, and their photos would be the basis of gameplay.

We built a custom game board for each office that consisted of nine RFID readers, a WiFi enabled Arduino Yún, a speaker for gameplay feedback and a reset button to restart the game. As an office made a move, WebSockets power an interactive communication session between the Arduinos and web servers, allowing real-time game moves to be visible on both display walls. Depending on who made the move, a call was made for an Instagram photo from either office pool with identifying info.


Outside of the obvious cultural benefits for our organization, near field communication presents unique opportunities for our industry. Whether at retail, an amusement park, or a stadium, consumers are able to easily identify themselves. In turn, brands can serve up offers and experiences that are tailor fit to the individual’s preferences. The possibilities are endless and we’re excited to help build them.

Larger than life tic-tac-toe board, simultaneous updates in Boston & Philadelphia
Modifications on a Nerf Vulcan EBF–25
Inside the Candy Machine
Nine RFID Readers and Arduino Yun power our fun
Facebook page on an iPhone
Custom built box and game piece with RFID tag
Dispensing candy
Employees’ Instagram photos are Xs and Os