Today we are going to explain what an NFC tag is and what are the best uses for them. A few years ago, smartphones with NFC were relatively uncommon, but today it is normal for high-end models and most mid-range devices to have it. This technology, in addition to allowing us to pay with the phone, also serves to take advantage of other interesting features.
What are NFC tags?
NFC tags are really very simple “devices”. They are basically tags with an NFC chip inside. This chip can be written and read by the NFC of our smartphone. This way our smartphones automate actions quickly and easily. For example, we can use an NFC tag to make the phone go silent or connect to a particular Wi-Fi network when we bring it close.
There are several types of NFC chips. Each chip has a certain amount of memory, usually measured in bytes. The greater the number of bytes, the more data it can store.
For smartphones, NTAG210, NTAG213 and NTAG215 chips are the most common types. The most important differences are the available memory (48, 144 and 540 bytes, respectively), which means that they can store more characters. The more memory, the more characters and more information.
For example, an NTAG213 chip can store a 132-character URL or 130-character text, while an NTAG215 chip can store a 492-character URL or 490-character text. These tags have a read/write endurance of 100,000 cycles and retain data for 10 years, as required by ISO 14443-A standard.
It’s a good idea to make sure that your smartphone or tablet is compatible before buying NFC tags. On the other hand, it is worth remembering that NFC tags do not work if we place them on a metal surface unless they are made for that purpose.
To use NFC tags we have to download a dedicated app that allows us to write and read them. There are many alternatives, but the best known is called NFC Tools, which is available on iOS and Android and is completely free. Simply download it, bring your phone close to the NFC tag and perform the action you want. The app is very easy to use.
Best uses for NFC tags
Now that we know what NFC tags are and what we need to take advantage of them, let’s review some original ideas.
According to us, these are the best uses for NFC tags:
- Direct links to your social media profiles: You can have an NFC tag that opens the URL of your Instagram, TikTok or Twitter profile so anyone can quickly follow you.
- Connect to a Wi-Fi network: If you don’t want to repeat your Wi-Fi password to everyone who enters your home, you can put an NFC tag on your living room door or near your router so your friends can scan it and connect automatically.
- Music playlists: You can put an NFC tag on your desktop with a link to the Spotify playlist you use to study so when you bring your smartphone close to it, the playlist will start automatically.
- Activate “do not disturb” mode: Ideal for going to sleep. By configuring this action, the phone will automatically go into “do not disturb” mode when you pass it over the tag.
- Turn on the computer: If you have the Pro version of NFC Tools and the Wake-on LAN function activated on the computer, you can turn on the PC by placing the smartphone on the tag.