Monday, 18 February 2013

Automation Using NFC

When friends come over for dinner with their kids, expect the young generations to bring with them their gadgets. Whilst the younger kids are busy with their games, the teens are busy tapping away their statuses on social networks. It seems that the common lingo among them is handheld technology. And most of the time, they do more than just accessing social networks, and decide to share what's their latest find on youtube or watch streaming movies and even download  music online.  As this requires a massive data allowance, they ask for the home wi-fi network code. No problem on keying in on the hex code, but sometimes it could take a while because of input problems like too small keyboard, too much characters in the key and the number of devices to connect, especially that everybody wants to connect as they prefer different things.

But to those who has NFC enabled phones, the sharing of home's SSID and it's password is easy. It is just a matter of briefly touching with their phone the green NFC tag on my router and easily they can have the internet connection using our access in no time. The tag is not built in, but have bought it blank and just did an easy little note writing on it.

If you find it difficult to key in your password to share with your friends when they come around, then you can do this trick too, to simplify this task. Trust me, you can do this, assuming that you and your friends have  compatible devices!

How to build a tag and automate the sharing of your key?

1. The first step is to make sure your phone is NFC enabled. Examples of phones that has NFC are Samsung s3, Note 2, or google Nexus phones. You can check this link for the current brands and models with this function at 

2. You need to buy a tag to write on. I ordered one from an ebay seller and I got it the second day from this seller. 

  3. Download an NFC writer reader application from Play market place. I recommend NFC Smart Q for the purpose. Then you can write your tag.

How to write your tag?

3.1  Open the application and the list of what you can do with a tag is written down. In this example that I want to create a tag for the wifi access, I choose control settings, Wi-Fi, then Wi-Fi Connect.

3.2 Enter SSID name, select the kind of security (WPA or WEP), enter the key value, then choose toogle( this will toggle the device to turn on and off alternately everytime it touches the tag, or just simple tick enable)

Press OK then tap write. Now tap your phone over the empty tag to write the instructions on the tag. A notification of success will show on the screen if the writing is successful.

3.3 You can now stick your tag at the tap of your router or wherever you want. To use it, just tap in your friend's NFC enabled phone running NFC Smart Q application at the tag on top of you router to get Wi-Fi access.

How to use your tag?

Now that you have written an instruction with the NFC tag, with your phone screen unlocked, NFC enabled(settings, more settings, under file and data transfer, turn on NFC), just put your phone on top of the tag and it will read and translate it in a few seconds! See video below.

You can do more automation using this technology, like sharing your phone number, turning on your bluetooth when inside your bluetooth enabled car, turning off your data connectivity when you do not need it, sharing your social network address or website, notes, etc. etc. It is just really a matter of how big your imagination is to exploit the power of this tech!

Click picture below to see video.

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