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Understanding NFC and Smart tags - Some tips

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(Last edited by 3Shirts; 13th March 2012 at 03:04 PM.) Reason: Add details of NXP app
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Default Understanding NFC and Smart tags - Some tips

I just thought I'd bang a little thread together to help people understand and be more flexible with NFC.

NFC means Near Field Communication and allows you to swipe your phone near a tag and have the phone perform some action.

The Smart tags that Sony provide are simply NFC tags with a certain URI (snippet of code) that the device understands and uses to launch it's built-in app.

You can actually buy any NFC tag and write this code in and it will work the same way as a smart tag so you can save some money by buying generic tags or buy some more flexible or fun types of tag.
Head to this thread for the code you need and some discussion on where to buy tags in your country. I am in the UK and used the below:
http://www.rfidshop.com/nfc-tags-80-c.asp

Personally I am using the sticker disks but as you can see there are lots of options like credit card sized tags and wristbands.

Once you have your tags, you need to write them. There is a free app in the market called NFC Tagwriter by NXP which will do this for you.

There is also a great app called NFC Task Launcher which not only lets you write tags but also performs actions based on the tags. It's different to the way Sony's smart tags app works because it writes the commands to the actual tag. That means that the tag tells the phone what to do, rather than the phone's app itself. Handy if you have multiple devices.
It is also much more flexible and supports 'profiles' which I will get to shortly.

One of the main things to understand with NFC tags is that they are a one-time function. You can't, for example, leave your phone laying on one that makes it silent and have it go loud when you take it away. It will simply repeat the silent action each time it reads the tag

The NFC reader in the device will fire each time you turn on the screen (under ICS you must also unlock) so leaving the phone in range of a tag might cause multiple launches.

To help overcome this 'limitation' NFC Task Launcher supports profiles which means it will perform a different action the second time it 'sees' a tag. This is great for situations like getting in and out of the car or arriving at/leaving work.

NFC Task Launcher also supports Tasker which is a scripting tool for Android and with these two apps you can set up some very advanced automation. I won't go into how to use Tasker as it is quite a steep learning curve but to whet your appetite, how is this:

When I get in my car, the tag puts my phone on loud, enables bluetooth, starts Car Home and opens maps. When I leave, it closes these and sets the volume to default, it then gets my location and the time and saves it. All this is automatic and means at any time I know when and where I parked my car!
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awf
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(Last edited by awf; 13th March 2012 at 01:22 PM.)
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Thanks for sharing I'm experimenting with the tags myself too and discovered some things you can't turn off and on based on the different tags for example alarm...
red off black on it just launches the app ;)
 
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Awsome post mate!

Getting my XPS tomorrow and very excited to give this a try!

Just the info i needed!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Shirts View Post
Once you have your tags, you need to write them.
Hi,
sorry for somewhat silly question, but I couldn't find answer to this before: is XPS capable of savingto NFC tags or is it read-only?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radmac View Post
Hi,
sorry for somewhat silly question, but I couldn't find answer to this before: is XPS capable of savingto NFC tags or is it read-only?
Yes it is capable of writing them as long as you have the software. The paid version of NFC Task Launcher can write them or there is a free app called NFC Tagwriter by NXP in the market which can write them.

If you only intend to use them with the Smart Tags app then just use the free NXP app and write the URI for the different colour tags:
semc://liveware/A1/1/NT1/1/smarttags1
semc://liveware/A1/1/NT1/2/smarttags1
semc://liveware/A1/1/NT1/3/smarttags1
semc://liveware/A1/1/NT1/4/smarttags1 (white)

They will then behave exactly like the Sony Smart tags
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A bit more info. The Smart Tags app can only handle the four tags, one of each colour. Using the above method you could create several tags that behave like the same colour but obviously you couldn't have them do different things.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Shirts View Post
A bit more info. The Smart Tags app can only handle the four tags, one of each colour. Using the above method you could create several tags that behave like the same colour but obviously you couldn't have them do different things.
In it's current form Sony has a basic implementation with no if then condition of vars which can be applied...
 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PDoPqBNp64

I can't obtain This...why sony app don't store various tag?



this to be more precise
 
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Thx for the info!! I cant buy paidapps but wonder if there is a free NFC app that can enable Alarms!?
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Default Special tanks to all& especially 3Shirts

hi guys, thanks for your help, we get some days ago our Xperia S as we are manufacturer and we want to develop stuff NFC based without your post and the useful information you give us we will took more long time to understand the NFC field.

In the coming future we will need a Android developer for an app's we will need.

Other than this i have a small question; As i read is not possible to have in/out in NFC any turn around possible

PS: by in/out in mean when you enter in the car turn the mobile in car mode and when leave return to normal mode

thanks again to all

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