Automate your Phone: 10 Awesome Ways to Use NFC Tags

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Do you have an Android phone? If yes, chances are you have a feature you haven’t really unlocked its full potential: Near Field Communication (NFC). This is a technology within your phone that allows transfer of data between two electronic devices. This can mean communication between your phone and another phone. Or NFC tags. This is also the same tech used to pay for items by tapping your phone on the credit card machine. NFC tags are small chips that can be programmed (using apps such as Trigger or NFC Tools) to interact with your phone. Using these tags, you can automate your mobile device. With a quick tap you can command your phone to do many tasks that can be anywhere from simple volume adjustments to complicated multi-step functions. Here are 10 of the best ways to use those NFC tags (10 reusable tags can be be purchased on Amazon for only $13: NFC tags).

Quick tip: Be sure to enable NFC within your Smartphone’s settings

1. Turn Wifi On/Off

Place one NFC tag on your car dashboard and one near the door to enter the house. Program the one in the car to turn Wifi off and the one by the door to turn Wifi on. It’s amazing how much power can be saved when Wifi is turned off when not needed.

2. Change Volume Level

Are you constantly switching your phone from sound to vibrate/silent when going from home to work or sleep. Place a programmed NFC tag on your work desk/night stand that kills your volume. No more waking up in the middle of the night from an annoying email notification!

3. Set Alarm Before Bed

Instead of manually creating an alarm every night before bed, automate it! An NFC tag can be programmed to set up an alarm at a specified time depending on what day it is (so it can set different alarm times based on the day of the week). Set it on your nightstand and tap your phone on it before bed, and you’re good to go for the morning. Caution: Make sure it works first before trusting it with your job!

4. Allow Guests to have Instant Access to your Password-Protected Wifi

Using the InstaWifi app, an NFC tag can be used to connect and input the Wifi password to a guest’s phone. A simple tap to the tag is a whole lot quicker than having to remember and read off your 20 character password to allow them access.

5. Quickly Connect to Your Bluetooth Speaker

These NFC tags can be programmed to perform multiple tasks at once. So instead of having to manually turn on Bluetooth and connect to the speaker, you can automate it. The tag could also connect to Wifi and open up your favorite music app. In less than a second your speaker is ready to go!

6. Get Instant Up-to-Date Traffic Information

Place an NFC tag on your car dashboard and program it to open up your favorite traffic app (and maybe even have it read to you). Set it up with Waze and get up-to-date information on accidents, police locations, gas prices, hazards, and more. Never be late because of traffic again!

7. Send a Text Message/Email

Does someone always want you to text them when your home? Set up an NFC tag to take the work out of it! Prewrite a short text message/email and have it sent to a specific person when you tap your phone on the tag.

8. Automate Your Home

This one is a bit more complicated as this requires  some external tech that connects your home and smartphone (there are several cheap options, however). If your home is already set up for this, it’s simple! Program the NFC tag to adjust your thermostat when leaving, prepare coffee in the morning, turn on/off lights, or even lock/unlock doors. Place it by your door and no more forgetting to do something when leaving the house!

9. Pair up with an Arduino = Endless Possibilities

Own an Arduino (only $10 on Amazon: Arduino)? If you’re not familiar with this amazing piece of tech it can automat just about any electronic device. In order to have your phone’s NFC be able to interact with the Arduino, you must have the NFC Shield (about $40 on Amazon). This can open up a whole new world of uses for NFC.

10. Open Up and Add to a To-Do/Grocery List

Always taking the time to scroll through all of your lists to find the right one? Use an NFC tag near the fridge/pantry to open up your grocery list. You can even program it to add an item to the list. Place a tag near an item that is constantly running out.  Then just tap your smartphone on it to add the item to the list!

Any other suggestions? Feel free to comment!