Near-field Communication fun!

Been a while again!

I upgraded my phone to an HTC One X, which has NFC (Near Field Communications). This technology allows seamless transfer of data. This means no pairing, no friendlisting. You just touch two phones together, or a phone against a tag or other device and they are instantly connected. This allows for many things to take use of this, such as easy transferring of phone contacts or web pages, to contactless payment, and much more.

Here’s a couple of examples showing how I’ve been using it:

First up, a kitchen timer!
KitchenNFC Timer

I programmed these tags with NFC Task Launcher (Google Play Store). When I tap one of the stickers, my phone sets an alarm for the appropriate time. This isn’t cumulative, but a static timer for each sticker. Comes in handy for those recipes that always tend to stick around 5s and 10s!

The stickers in these are from BuyNFCTags.com, SmarTrac Bullseye NTAGs. They are basically passive stickers with 144 bytes of data. Not much, but enough to store commands from NFC Task Manager. I’ve programmed these each with different alarms. The app has a task specifically for “# minutes from now”, so it wasn’t too difficult and can be easily replicated.

My second use I’ve found is demonstrated in this video:

I basically use this in tandem with my Bluetooth headphones. I modded the headphones with NFC (Re: taped an NFC sticker onto it). It also has a “companion” tag to use with it on my desks at home at work. When I tap the tag in the headphones, my phone’s Bluetooth turns on and opens the music app, while also disabling Wi-Fi (to save power on my trip to work). When I get to work, I tap the tag there to turn Wi-Fi back on and disable Bluetooth. Same with my ride home from work in the evening. Very handy and takes just a tap to do it! There isn’t any digging into settings.

I have a final idea, but I will keep mum about it until I find out if the next iPhone includes NFC.

Anyway, that is my fun with NFC! I really don’t think I could go back to a phone without it after this. Android has a few quirks, but this more than makes up for them.

Leave a Reply