Monthly Archives: April 2014

Using NFC Tags

NFC (Near Field Communication) is a specification for short-range two-way wireless technology, based on RFID. It is available on most smartphones  these days.(Sorry Apple Users, Apple doesn’t have NFC)>>(Well they do now, but no support for NFC Tags) There are many possibilities with NFC, such as:
1. Paying for groceries using your phone
2. Automatically toggle tasks on your phone when phone scans an NFC tag
3. Android Beam, automatically connecting two devices together using bluetooth to send files without having to go through the pain staking bluetooth setup process.
4. Sharing website/contact info through NFC tags
Cool right?

Using NFC Tags for sharing websites

As I wrote above, NFC tags can be used to share websites/text. SG Makers Meetup is coming up, so I need to find a cool and ‘techno’ way to distribute my website address. I thought of QR codes but they are really just too mainstream. They are literally everywhere. It so happened that I had a few NFC tags I got for free laying around.
So I decided to write a blog post on how to use an NFC tag to share website URLs.
The picture on the right is an example of an NFC tag. It has an adhesive backing so that it can be placed anywhere you like. As you can see on the second picture, the antenna and microchip is visible.
The is a lot of applications on the play store that can read/write/erase tags. Examples include Samsung TecTiles, Tasker and many others. But in this post I’m gonna just focus on NFC Tools because it is simple and easy to use.

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1. Download the app from here
2. Launch the app. Take your NFC tag and place it on your phone’s back. If nothing happens, you might want to move the tag around. On some devices, there is an NFC logo. That is where you should touch the tag. Make sure your NFC is turned on!
3. On the read tab, all the info regarding the NFC tag can be found here including manufacterer, serial number, type of NFC tag and the size capacity available
4.Swipe right to the Write tab. Select ‘Add a record’
5. Now choose the type of data you want to copy to the tag. For my purpose, I chose URL/URI
6. Enter website address. It is recommended that you use a URL shortener service such as goo.gl or bit.ly or ow.ly because the full URL may or cannot fit into the tag. As you can see in the 2nd picture, NFC tags have very small capacity, at hundreds of bytes only. Select OK when done
7. Select ‘Write’ If you have any more record you want to write to select ‘Add a record’.
Now place your tag on your device’s back
8. A ‘Write Complete’ dialog should appear. You can now use your tag to share websites!

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