Samsung introduces programmable NFC stickers

14 Jun 2012

Samsung demonstrates that NFC can offer more than just transactions with TecTiles, NFC-enabled stickers that can be programmed to change your phone settings at a touch.

Samsung TecTiles are small square stickers that smartphone owners can programme to perform certain tasks via an NFC touchpoint. For example, you could stick one of these bad boys on your bedside locker so that every time you place your phone there, it automatically sets your alarm and switches to silent mode. Or you could have one on your dashboard that can put your phone in drive mode, or instantly send a text to say you’re on your way home.

The stickers can be programmed to do a number of everyday actions, such as make a phone call, post an update to social media, launch an application or connect to a Wi-Fi network. They can even be used to share contact details without the need to type them in, or even hand out business cards.

Users simply download the Samsung TecTiles app, follow the onscreen instructions for a selected action, and then touch their phone to the sticker to complete the programming.

Not only are they handy for smartphone users, they can also become a new promotional tool for brands that could blow QR codes out of the water.

Any business can programme a TecTile to automate Facebook likes or Foursquare check-ins, or any number of actions to connect with customers. Users with NFC-capable phones only have to touch their phones to the tags to perform the actions – saving the seconds it would take to load a QR code scanner.

Though the technology is not as advanced as Microsoft’s on{x} for Android smartphones, and is nothing new compared to Sony’s Xperia SmartTags, it’s still encouraging to see innovation in the field of NFC, showcasing this technology’s potential for everyday use.

The tags can be used and programmed by anyone with an NFC-capable phone, be it Samsung or any other brand. However, some actions will require the app to be installed. If interested, you can purchase a pack of five for US$14.99 from the Samsung TecTile website.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.