Near Field Communication, ya nerd!
Order 10 of these neat little tags, they came in the mail today. There’s all this hype over here in the Netherlands about what is essentially the plastic card equivalent of all these new “pay-by-phone” services. Most banks are starting to roll out cards that support “contactless payment”. No more need to swipe that card through a slit of stick it in a hole (winky-face), you can just tap it against the payment device and as long as you’re transferring a sensible amount, it’ll go through.
I ain’t no real fan of that, but I do like the technology behind it. For other things than security-sensitive things like payments though. Some phones come with NFC compatibility installed. It’s a hardware thing, so you’re out of luck if yours doesn’t have it. If it does though, go order yourself some tags and install NFC Tools or a similar application, ’cause this shit’s neat!
NFC tags are essentially tiny little storage devices. The ones I ordered have enough space for a whopping 173 bytes! That’s generally 173 characters, only little more than a tweet. Still, that’s more than enough to store some fancy commands on it. Now I can hover my phone over a tag by my nightstand to turn on airplane mode and put everything on mute, as well as put the screen on its lowest brightness. If I wanted to, I could also have it automatically set an alarm for the next day!
Or what about a tag in the hallway, which visitors can swipe their phones against to connect to my WiFi network? They don’t need to fiddle around with a long, complicated password, and I can feel safe with the knowledge they don’t know it.
Take it a step further, and have it do different things depending on the day of the week, for example. Neat-o!