With all the cautious excitement among NFC professionals and enthusiasts about the iPhone 6, it’s inclusion of NFC is becoming the most common question that I’m asked these days. The iPhone and NFC, the unavoidable elephant in the room. One thing is certain though, if NFC is not included, physical space on the back of the phone will become as valuable as icon space on a user’s main screen. IPhone users often affix their NFC cards to the phone and use them by holding it to a reader.
More and more these days, the solutions we implement at TapTrack lend themselves to a 10” NFC enabled tablet. In fact, we joke at the office how the Nexus 10 will go down in history as one of the best tablet values of all time. But alas, those are no longer stocked at Google and the second hand market is drying up. This leaves us to search for other tablets in the 10” category that are NFC enabled.
iBeacon is a technology in Apple’s new OS that determines a phone’s position in a retail store using the technology of innovative companies like Estimote and Indoors. Introduced in Apple’s latest iPhone 5S, iBeacon uses active devices to both send and receive data over Low Energy Bluetooth (BLE). Since BLE relies on battery power, it can function at much greater distances than NFC can. With its roots in RFID technology, many NFC applications use passive tags requiring no battery whatsoever (they draw enough power from the phone’s device to function with enhanced security).
While it may be a while before NFC applications are mainstream among consumers, here at TapTrack we see a tremendous opportunity in enterprise and B2B applications. Enterprise NFC applications abound – whether it’s to help track grape harvesting or enable staff to quickly access equipment specifications on their mobile device.The enterprise market is particularly attractive since implementing an enterprise NFC solution elegantly solves the two main problems standing in the way of consumer-centric applications: the lack of NFC-enabled phones, and a lack of consumer education surrounding the use of the technology.
Sept 15, 2018 The all-in-one nature and large touch screens offered by tablets at very reasonable price points make them a very appealing option for many of uses - displaying product information microsites, powering brand activation points, and simply being the brains behind kiosks of all varieties. Unfortunately, while these tablets offer many connectivity options and plenty of sensors, one thing they often forgo is NFC capability. Further, even if the tablet does have NFC, using it often requires the tag to be tapped on the back of the tablet, which is highly impractical in most NFC applications.
Previously, we’ve talked about the the password protection feature found on NXP’s NTAG21X family of NFC cards. While our Tappy NFC readers have supported this feature for years, previously it was only available as part of a custom solution; however, there is a new public command family exposing this functionality that is now supported on Tappies with firmware version 0.76 or newer, which corresponds to ship dates of September 2018 or later for Tappies ordered directly from TapTrack (other distributors may have slightly older stock).
Sept 24, 2018 Using an NFC Reader as Keyboard Entry Device Over the past couple of years, we’ve helped customers achieve keystroke entry from an NFC tag. Barcode scanners have for years come with this as a standard feature yet NFC readers for the most part don’t come with this capability in a built in or plug and play fashion. In this article we’re going to discuss this topic and the various solutions to this problem.
Here at TapTrack, we regularly field inquiries about near-field communication applications that demand relatively long-range communication, such as indoor position tracking or anti-theft gates. Unfortunately, NFC usually is not a practical option for such uses due to its quite limited range. NFC Range Theoretically, for the 13.56MHz frequency used by NFC, the ‘near field’ ends at 3.5 metres from the antenna, but real-world range is a quite different topic. Since NFC tags draw their power from the reader’s field, the effective range is heavily influenced by the power of the field the reader is generating relative to the power the tag requires, which may vary depending on what the tag is trying to do.
Dec 8, 2016 Previously, we showed how you can easily start developing NFC applications on NodeJS with a Tappy device using the TappyTcmpJs library. While that project was very short, much of the code we had to write was boilerplate for composing commands and making sense of the Tappy’s responses. This is necessary in order to take advantage of the full power of the Tappy family of NFC readers with all of their advanced commands and any custom commands we may develop for your use, but in a lot of applications, you only really need to detect tag UIDs as well as read and write NDEF messages.
If you’ve ever tried to attach an NFC sticker to the back of your iPhone or perhaps put a Bluetooth pairing tag on a metal peripheral, you’ve probably noticed that the tag will no longer scan. Even if the tag isn’t directly on metal, just being close to metal is sometimes enough to cause your scan performance to take a dramatic turn for the worst. In this whitepaper, we will look at why this happens and how you can make your tags work again.