Thursday, May 30, 2013

NFC Figures for the New Pokemon Game

Nintendo released the Wii U game Pokemon Scramble U together with a set of cute NFC Pokemon figures. Every one of them can be loaded into the game with a special ability and an initial strength value. There are now 16 types of them and even for figures of the same type, their special ability and strength value can be different.

The NFC Pokemon figures are designed to be loaded throughout our gaming experience. Everytime when we finish our game, we earn coins and can use those coins in helping our Pokemon to learn new Pokemon-specific special abilities and increase their strength value. Then the growth of our Pokemon can be recorded back to the NFC Pokemon figure again. More than that, we can choose a title for our NFC Pokemon figure. For example, if we give a title "Fast" for our Pokemon, it will move faster during the game. In this way, every one of us can have our unique Pokemon!

Other than the NFC Pokemon figures, we can also try to use contactless smartcard to load other Pokemon as temporary helping hand in the game.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Providing Shopping Tips by NFC/QR code

It is always be unwise for ideas like Tapping for a discount, you are paying more to help customer to pay less, unless you are asking for more in return like customer information. But Here is a NFC application about providing tips while shopping.

This idea is not limited to just Wine of course, and it can also provide "you may also like" suggestions, for example, it can provide the best wine for Steak, or cooking methods while selecting Beef. For cooking-idiots like me, a recipe would be more useful.

And lastly, and seriously, I am sure they will note QR code is needed for those non-NFC phones later.

Americans fond of small? Since when?

I have visited USA Orlando RFIDjournal live and found a US-based NFC tag supplier providing very tiny NFC Tags, the smallest one is just 4mm in diameter. It is called Infochip. Their product can apply on metals directly, primarily on industrial lifting tools, such as hooks, hoist rings, clamps, etc. The tag encapsulation is designed to withstand impacts, pressure, chemical and corrosion exposure. With the amazing 4mm diameter and unbreakably robust feature, it sounds very interesting so far.

However, the 4mm diameter NFC tag is so small that its RF signal almost impossible for typical NFC smartphone to pick up. That's why here come with another clever device called SNIPER. The Sniper is placed on the antenna of the NFC smartphone. And when the SNIPER pointer hit the tiny little NFC tag, the RF signal power is focused and redirected to the NFC smartphone….

It is a good application because all serious lifting cables and tools require periodically checking and maintenance. It is hard to do without any identification methods. Great potential and good choice of technology. The tiny NFC tag can be installed inside a hole.

The Sniper is a clever design too…but how to mount the Sniper security on each NFC phone (so many size and brands not to mention the sneaky antenna position, becomes a real headache. I suggest they can seek for collaboration with this company, to develop a new SNIPER on 3.5mm mic. Because that's the only universal standard feature in mobile world.

Using a NFC mobile phone and a piece of sniper to really tiny NFC tags….it might not fit the greesy and muddy industrial or constructional sites, but it is surely useful for cable and lifting maintenance service providers in labs or offices.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Japanese Anime Cartoon X NFC Keyfobs

As a 70s grown up, I like these NFC cartoon keyfobs very much. Well, I guess it doesn't matter what ages you are. We all like japs cartoon. It is something beyond NFC features. I just LOVE them so much…for sure I will buy them all if I can find them. I will write a facebook fan page bookmark in the tag, or use Tapogram to record a tune inside the NFC.

I am wondering where to order these cute keyfob without many tailor-made or customization. I found some from Chinese taobao/alibaba but worrying if they have issues with copyrights. Its really a pity that not much manufacturers realized the NFC trend.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Using NFC as a tool in studying

As an Industrial Engineering student, I have to study quite a lot of statistics and often refer to various statistics tables while doing statistics questions. I don't like printing the tables out because I tends to lose them.

To read the tables quickly and conveniently, I loaded the link of my course website to a NFC sticker stuck on my ruler. As the writing only involves a simple web link, I used the NXP TagWriter to write the tag. When I use my web browser to access my website, I shared the website through TagWriter, then chose to write the website link to the tag. I found TagWriter quite nice. It is userfriendly and shows you the types of tag you can use to write your information but it would be even better if it can provide more functions.

Now, whenever I need the tables, I put my Nexus 7 onto the sticker to access my website, and choose the table I need for my question.

Writing tag through the sharing function is quite convenient as I don't have to open the nfc app for writing the tag every time - I just have to access the thing I want to write and press "share". This can be a new concept of sharing. We are all used to sharing through facebook or whatsapp... but I believe sharing through NFC tags can be fun in a different way.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

A simple and innovative NFC app, Tapogram

Tapogram is a newly released NFC app, which provides an old application yet still creative use of NFC.

Just like a voice recording machine, an important sound clip can be "recorded" (in fact it is just a link), onto a NFC tag. If the sound clip meant to be shared, anyone with a NFC-enabled smartphone can play that 10-sec sound clip.

I think 10sec is too short for me to record a 3-4mins theme song for my Evanglion Figure on my desk. And I want to upload my own picture as well, the sound quality is also not that good…etc. This app seems still have many rooms for improvement but it is still fun to try out.

The youtube below provides more possible way to use it, such as…when it is hard to say Sorry….you can stick a sound clip on a gift and send it to the one you want to apologies; record memorial sound and stick it on pictures.

Google Play Link: Tapogram

NFC is for ads or aids during shopping?

It is really puzzling me that why those MBAs in RFID industries so lack of imagination, especially NFC label maker, they keep associating NFC with payment or advertising like getting best deal during shopping.

Smartphone buyers wouldn't bother to know whether we can shop or get discount using NFC when they are making buying decision. Even they purchased NFC-enabled smartphone, they will never touch the NFC setting which is by default-off.

These smart brains are completely out-of-words when they were asked what else NFC can be used. Even there are few, some of these applications appears a bit ridiculous to me; paring up a wristband and a pair of trainers? So that your android smartphone can record your fat-burning jogging process and heartbeats?

I seriously think NFC can be of better use, except pairing up with my rarely-used wireless speakers.For example, with a slightly modified e-ink display, we can use the NFC to "transfer" text from small phone screen on to the larger flexible display.

Even the simplest application such as Bookmarking, it is very useful and for sure will be evolved into other specific applications and business in soon future, such as NFC access analytics, or stock trading bookmark.

The ideas are there in user's mind. The biggest problem here now is we don't have enough NFC labels to play with and dispose them. So, if I were NXP and their NFC tag maker, I will provide tons of free label or sticker sample to NFC smartphone buyers. Many innovative and interesting applications will come out naturally.