If you are here, then you must know about NFC tags. I don’t know about you, but these little round disks fascinate me, especially when I consider the various ways I can use them for.
In this article, we will tell you where to buy, how to write and what to use it for.
What Is an NFC tag & How Does It Work?
NFC, or Near Field Communication, tags are small integrated circuits designed to store information for subsequent retrieval by NFC-enabled devices like smartphones and tablets. They are small stickers, round-or-square-shaped, about the size of a large coin. Besides this, these small stickers of wireless technology also allow data transfer between two NFC enabled devices.
NFC tags can have different memory capacities; you can store a telephone number or a URL (web address) and add protection. They can be locked so that once data has been written, it can never be altered. If you, however, intend to re-encode them, leave them unlocked. This way, you will be able to re-encode them as many times as you like.
To use NFC tags, you either tap the sticker with your NFC enabled device or bring your device within four inches to the sticker.
Where Can You Buy NFC Tags?
Procuring an NFC sticker is not a big deal. In fact, a search on Amazon, eBay, or any other e-commerce giant is bound to produce a ton of options.
For people who live in the United Kingdom, NFC Direct, self-acclaimed “World’s leading NFC supplier” and Universal Smart Cards are very good options. If you, however, live in the United States, consider Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
How to Write on NFC Tags
Writing an NFC tag is an easy undertaking; it does not require special skills. You can write an NFC tag using an android device, an iPhone device, a MacBook, and even a Windows computer. However, here, we will only briefly examine how to write an NFC tag using an android device.
To write to an NFC tag, you will need:
- NFC stickers (obviously)
- An NFC-enabled smartphone
- NFC-programming apps
Below is a step-by-step process on how to write data to an NFC tag:
- Download an NFC programming app from Play Store (We recommend Trigger)
- Launch the app and go to “My Tasks”
- Create a new task (tap the + sign on the bottom right corner of the app to do this)
- Choose NFC in the list of options that will be provided on the next page and then click on “Next”
- On the next page, you will have the option to set restrictions as to when your tag can run (dates, time, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.)
- On the next page, you will be provided with a list of tasks your tag can perform
- Configure the task as you see fit
- Click on “Add to tasks” and name it
- Finish up by clicking on “Done”
- Bring the NFC tag you intend to write towards the back of the phone
- You will get a message confirming success
And voila! all the information will be transferred to your tag and it will be ready to use. Now, you can use your NFC tag to automate the programmed task with any device.
Cool Uses of NFC Stickers
Here is a video you can watch for NFC tag ideas on usage
NFC tags have recently exploded in popularity. While most people know one or two ways in which they can use, there are many more ways to use them in our day to day activities.
You all know about Tap n Pay technology, but did you also know NFC is used for tracking your car keys, cell phones, and even remind you to make certain calls!?
Probably no. The truth is, NFC stickers are useful for accomplishing numerous tasks some of which are nothing short of mind-blowing.
This article has been put together to highlight this by providing you with several NFC tag ideas so can make your life easier for yourself going forward.
Below are some of the numerous uses of NFC Tags
Pay for Goods and Services
Probably the most popular NFC tag use today is in contactless payment services such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.
You will find them in many food and convenience stores all around the world. And the fact that these payment services are seeing wide adoption means that other forms of payment are not ditch-able.
What’s more? Services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, apart from being payment methods, can also store your spending history, analyse your spending habit, and also save coupons for use in securing discounts.
An Alarm Clock That Actually Works
You can also set NFC tags to wake you up in the morning.
Simply stick your tag in your bathroom or wherever your first stop is in the morning, and your alarm will disable when it connects with the tag. This will force you to wake up in the morning.
It may seem horrific, but it is a great and futuristic necessary evil. For this purpose, you will need the alarm clock to have NFC technology unless you use your smartphone’s alarm feature. A helpful NFC tag idea!
Turn on Your Phone’s Hotspot
This particular NFC tag idea is easy and awesome. I use my phone’s hotspot a lot, as I seem to constantly be travelling these days.
With an NFC sticker, users could simply stick one to their tablet or laptop, and when you are on-the-go, simply tap your phone to the tag and it will automatically fire up the phone’s hotspot capability. You do not even have to press or tap your phone.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could step into your car and have your phone automatically load up Google Maps?
Well, guess what? NFC tags can help achieve that. Simply stick an NFC tag in your car and encode it to load your Google Maps.
Once you are in the car, tap and have it – Maps – load in seconds… which could very well be minutes if your internet connection is bad. Definitely an NFC tag use that will make life much smoother.
Share Your WiFi With Friends
Tired of remembering your WiFi password? Or of people asking for it and you being required to spell every letter and number down to which is capitalised? Yeah, I thought so.
With an NFC sticker, this can become a thing of the past. You can store your WiFi password on an NFC sticker, and when you need it, simply move an NFC-enabled device to read it and automatically connect to your WiFi.
That alone should be enough reason to invest in this technology.
Advertise Your Business
Encode an NFC sticker with your business address, probably on Google Maps, and place it with a flyer or poster promoting your business.
When people scan the tag, it will lead them directly to your doorstep. This will save your potential customers time and effort and make your business easy to find.
Don’t forget, you need to buy a lot of NFC tags for this, encode, then lock them.
Turn Your Lights On/Off
This NFC tag idea is tricky to pull off and only techy people can understand all the mumbo-jumbo but it is still pretty awesome.
Wouldn’t it be nice just to turn on your lights with a simple wave of your phone? You will need Philips Hue which is kind of an expensive thing.
Unlock Your Door
Yes, unlocking your front door, or any door for that matter is another of several possible NFC tag uses. You will, however, need a smart lock.
LifeMaster by MyQ is one such smart lock that you can use if you have an NFC-enabled Android device. Simply attach the relevant NFC sticker to your door and use it to send a toggle command.
Use as a Bookmark
One of the numerous NFC tags uses is to easily visit your favourite websites. First, you will need to encode the website URL on the tag. And when you want to visit it, swipe the tag with your phone.
Also, you can use your NFC tags to direct people to a particular website. Just like you would when trying to save a website for personal use, encode the website’s URL to an NFC tag and then tap the tag with their mobile phone to direct them to the website.
Activate Driving Mode
Another of the numerous things you can do with an NFC sticker is to automatically activate your smartphone’s Driving Mode.
First, encode the tasks you want your phone to perform to an NFC tag, then when you enter your car, tap with your phone to activate the DND mode, and other tasks you have written to the tag.
You can even achieve a measure of control over your NFC sticker by using writing apps like Trigger on Android. With this, you will be able to change your phone’s mode by toggling a switch.
Share Media Content
Are you a content creator whether music or videos? Do you use platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and Twitch to distribute your content? If yes, then you will find NFC stickers very helpful.
You can use them to further propagate your content. How do you do this? Just embed a link to the platform on which your content is hosted on the tag. Thereafter, place it in strategic locations where people frequently visit such as cafes.
Make sure you notify people of what is on the NFC sticker, to avoid spooking them off which would be the case given the potential security issues that could arise.
Automate Phone Tasks
While smartphones come with several shortcuts that help us navigate our smartphones better and more smoothly, they do not come equipped with the flexibility that NFC tags provide. With an NFC tag, you can automate tasks like having your phone stream a particular playlist every time you leave your house.
To get the best out of this particular use of an NFC tag, it is important to have a set of DIMPLE Smart Buttons. To use them, place them at the back of your phone in proximity to the NFC tag. And when you want to perform a particular pre-set task, simply press the associated button.
If you are the type that always forgets your food on the stove or your clothes in the washing machine, you will find this NFC tag use quite helpful.
Program your NFC tag to start up your timer when you tap it and place it next to your stove, washing machine, or any applicable location. And when you perform a task that requires the use of those tools, simply activate your timer with your tag.
You can use NFC stickers & tags for virtually anything. Let us know what uses you think are cooler and what all we have missed.
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I use NFC to automatically turn on my wireless charger (through a smart plug), as soon as I place my phone on top of it.
Also it will automatically turn off, if the phone is beeing removed or is fully charged.
The idea behind it is to conserve the battery of the phone a little bit longer,
by not letting it charge the whole night!
Can I use a NFC tag attached to a strain sensor and read the data on a wearable device ?
Indeed, NFC has many advantages, such as faster connectivity and convenience. Very straightforward as you can do everything on your phone. And if you’re in doubt about how safe it is, see article on “your shopping hut” have safety tips of using NFC.