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December 13th 2011 12:51 pm

NFC and Android use-cases?

I recently bought a pack of NFC tags so I could take advantage of the NFC reader in the Galaxy Nexus I just bought. First one I set up was a tag on the door to my apartment that toggles WiFi on and off. I like to keep the WiFi off to save battery life when I'm not at home, so it's sort of handy to be able to quickly tap my phone to switch WiFi on or off as I'm walking in or out the door. (It's not life-changing, just kind of geeky-cool.)

Would love to hear what other uses you guys have come up with. If more people had NFC devices I would definitely set up a tag that made it one tap to get the passkey to our WiFi network.

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18 replies

I'd also put one in my car to toggle bluetooth.
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If you have a car (I don't) you could set one up to turn on/off bluetooth. And if possible, to trigger an sms to yourself when turning off bluetooth reminding you to take the thing out of your ear.
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This is the one use that really applies to me. The only time I use bluetooth is in the car.

I rely heavily on wifi since coverage is spotty in the places where I spend most of my time.
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It would be a bit of work, but how about using NFC to unlock the front door of your apartment? There are several readers available, and you could hook up a PC to control an electronic lock based upon an access control list. (www.hidglobal.com­/technology.php­?tech­_cat­=19­&s...)

This would also let you do a bunch of other things, Upon entry, like enable/disable the alarm system, turn the heat on and off, and authorize WiFi use (for guests).

Arguably, it would be difficult to cobble the pieces together for this from what's out there now (a PC would definitely be required to make this work), but it seems we have the makings of an interesting kickstarter project!

NXP makes the chip used in the Nexus and is the leader in NFC, is anyone interested in building an NFC home controller? (www.nxp.com­/products­/interface­_and­_connectivity­/nf...)
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How about using one to send a preformatted text to the girlfriend to let her know you've set off for home from work. Or to easily check in to venues on 4Sq. Also interested in how you program these, Peter?
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Not being an Android owner myself, I'm still clueless about available (integration and programmable) use-cases for the tech, but I'd love the idea of NFC launching home automation tasks as you walk in and out of the house. TAP on the way out to turn on the alarm system countdown whilst simultaneously lowering the air-conditioning settings and turning off any stray room lights. TAP on the way in to do the reverse, etc.
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What kind of tags are you using? And how much did they cost?
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Pre-formatted tags from Tagstand, bought one of their starter kits, it was 15 tags for $14.25:

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So I assume you're using their webbased manager to program them, or are you using them with their Tagsquared app?
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So can you reprogram the tags? What happens on your GNex - is it an App that reads a specific tag then changes the settings or does can ICS do this natively if they have certain code in them?
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If the tags were cheap enough, I'd put them on the herbs and spices in my wife's pantry so we could take a quick inventory before starting a particular recipe for dinner. Might also be cool if one of the recipe apps could take the inventory and tell you what could be made from the contents of your pantry.
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Love the WiFi idea. Curious on this - if you have the GNex in a case, does NFC still work? I'm thinking Otterbox specifically...that is a beast of a case and am wondering if that is too thick to allow NFC to function properly. Anyone tried it yet?
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I've been able to use NFC with the Galaxy Nexus in Incipio's Feather case. Admittedly, it's pretty thin, but range of NFC is supposed to be a few centimeters so should be ok with other cases as well.
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Just ordered the starter kit Peter mentioned below, question: what's the best software to use to program the tags?
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How about having one on your key chain that would unlock your phone. Does the tag have to touch or does it work within so many feet?
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Hey Peter are you programming these yourself or are you using the Tagstand Manager? Either way how difficult is it to program one these to do the Wifi toggle?
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Can you let me know what app you are using to controle with the NFC tag :)
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My primary use case is Google Wallet (Whole Foods, Peets Coffee, Best Buy)
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