Posted: February 16, 2019
What is NFC?
NFC (Near Field Communication) is a technology that enables devices (e.g. smartphones) to interact with the physical world by touching, tapping or waving near a tag. No swiping, inserting or pin entry needed and there’s no need to download an app or visit a website.
What is an NFC tag?
An NFC tag can be placed on or in various items, e.g. sticker, posters or wristbands. It contains a microchip which stores a small amount of information for transfer to an NFC device, such as a smartphone.
What can I use NFC for?
Touching your smartphone to an NFC tag can initiate different types of actions including a Facebook like, Twitter follow, voucher download, digital tickets, opening a web page or video, entering a competition, prompting a call or SMS with a phone number or a Foursquare check in.
What information can an NFC tag store?
NFC tags can store different types of data for example a URL (web address) or
Unfortunately although these devices have an NFC chip in them Apple have not made them available to work with NFC tags.
Apple introduced the ability for an iPhone 7 or 7+ to read NFC tags that are already formatted with data such as a URL. Unfortunately this does not work natively on the phone so you have to use an application and once launched the app will be able to scan the data and launch the URL on a browser. There are plenty on the market but our sister company PROX IoT have one and it can be found on the Apple store here: PROX NFC Tag
With this model they freed up NFC reading so any NFC tags that have a URL written to them will launch the browser automatically without any need for an application.
When you use your mobile with NFC for the first time you may find that NFC does not seem to be working. Here are some practical steps on how to see where the problem might be.
The NFC tags
We test all tags before they get shipped but it is possible for them to fail due to the way they get handled. It is very unlikely to affect all the tags so worth checking more than one. We will always replace any faulty tag. Every type of tag has a different reading distance, which means you will have to place the mobile nearer to the NFC tag for different types of tag. Typically the smaller tags will have a shorter reading distance, but aluminium antennas tend to have a shorter reading distance than copper. That is why the very small NFC tags tend to have copper antennas.
If you have not used your mobile for NFC before you may find it has been switched off or not enabled. Whether on Android or Windows you will find an NFC sett
NFC Chips we use MIFARE
NTAG203 NTAG210 NTAG213 NTAG215 NTAG216 Total Memory
64 168 80 180 540 924 Usable Memory
48 144 48 144 504 888 Compatible with all mobiles Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes NFC Forum
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Scan Counter
Your typical NFC sticker is made of a very thin layer of PVC or PET plastic on the top to protect and/or hide the NFC chip and antenna. In many cases a client will print on this surface to present a brand or instructions on what the user of the mobile should do. At the back of the NFC sticker once you remove the release paper you will find the sticky back with various strengths of glue to attached the sticker to the required surface.
In most cases NFC stickers are your best choice as they are very light, strong and flexible so can be used on slightly curved surfaces and it is easier to find the right position for them.
However - we are often asked questions such as
- just how hard wearing are they are?
- can they be knifed?
- are they waterproof?
- are they dustproof?
- what would happen if hit by a hammer?
The reality is that on a normal sticker you have plastic front and glue back that protects the