What Are NFC Tags And How Do You Use Them?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. These are small tags, which can be programmed to talk to your phone. As you swipe your phone over an NFC tag, it triggers preset commands you have programmed into it. NFC tags are quite cheap, for example, you can pick up 10 of them on Amazon for about $13.

Here are some examples of using NFC tags –

• Tag No.1: On key chain. A simple trigger to take you to a specific website
• Tag No.2: On the kitchen counter. It triggers several commands – turn Wi-Fi on, turn Bluetooth off, turn Sync on, turn Brightness up and turn Volume up
• Tag No.3: Besides the bed. Turns volume to silent, turns brightness down
• Tag No.4: In the car. While entering the car, turns Wi-Fi off, turns Bluetooth on, opens Audible App, turns Synch off
• Tag No.5: In the car. While leaving the car, turns Bluetooth off, turns Sync on

Therefore, you can program these tags to make your phone do a bunch of things by simply passing it over the top of a tag. You do not need to open an app and individually change each setting; simply passing your phone over a pre-programmed tag will do the trick. To set up your Android phone, go to settings > More > Check off NFC. Unfortunately, Apple does not support NFC, so you cannot use the tags with iPads and iPhones.

You will need to download the Trigger App. If you have not downloaded this, your phone will take you there the first time when trying to use and NFC tag.

Technically, NFC has the ability for two devices to send data to each other simply by bringing one near the other. Here, the word device stands for a tag and a cell phone. NFC tags, also referred to as smart tags, have chips embedded into them and these can be programmed to transfer just about any instruction or data via NFC.

MOO.com offers business cards with NFC tags embedded within them. The idea is that when you hold your NFC enabled business card to an NFC enabled cell phone, your contact details are automatically added to the phone’s contact book. Therefore, you need to carry only a single card with you, which saves time and money. Moreover, no sensitive data is exchanged and there is virtually no security risk involved.

Advertisements have QR codes on them, allowing people to scan them to go to their blogs. That requires a barcode scanning app, the light has to be just right and the entire QR code has to be captured properly. With NFC tags, you only need to pass your cell phone over the advertisement to get the required information.

The NFC Task Launcher will allow you to program your NFC tags with your mobile phone. Once you have them programmed, the tags will help you to do almost anything from going to a website to enabling/disabling the Wi-Fi, adding contact details, setting an alarm, embedding information for a location and more.