Looks like it's time for NFC tags to hit the big time. Samsung tonight announced TecTiles, its own rewritable NFC tag solution.
For those of you new to the game, NFC stands for "Near Field Communication" -- think of it as very short-range wireless data transfers where you literally tap your phone against something to initiate the transfer. NFC tags are little stickers that, when touched by an NFC-enabled device, can then cause an action to happen.
We got the opportunity to give them a spin last week in New York City and, guess what -- they're rewritable NFC tags. But they're going to be pretty darn handy.
NFC plays a pretty big part in Samsung's latest smartphone, the Galaxy S III. It's used to initiate an S Beam connection, which lets you transfer photos and videos (among other things) from one Galaxy S III to another. (There's some Wifi Direction action involved there, but we digress.) Back to the tags, though.
The TecTiles tags will run you $14.99 for a five-pack, which you can purchase from Samsung online, or at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile stores. (Yes. That's a whopping $3 a tag.) They're good for many thousands of rewrites, Samsung tells us. So what can they do? It's a pretty extensive list. One you download and install the TecTiles app -- which works just fine on non-Samsung phones, by the way -- you'll be able to write tags to do the following:
Settings & Applications
- Change phone settings (Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi, ringer/media volume, screen brightness, etc.)
- Launch an application
- Join a Wi-Fi Network
- Show a message
- Make a call
- Send a text message
- Start a Google Talk conversation
- Share a contact or business card
Location & Web
- Show an address on a map
- Open a web page
- Foursquare or Facebook check-in
- Automatic Facebook “Like”
- Update Facebook status
- Post a tweet or follow a contact on Twitter
- Connect on LinkedIn
And that's it. Just tap, and go. And it works just fine, though the tags definitely are on the pricey side. There's more info at the link below. Or (and this was a bit of brilliance on Samsung's part), you can just tap a TecTiles tag with an NFC-enabled phone to visit Sammy's TecTiles site for more info and to download the TecTiles app.