Samsung TecTiles: User programmable NFC stickers automate smartphone functions
By Darren Quick
June 13, 2012
Despite increasing numbers of smartphones sporting near field communication (NFC) functionality, the technology hasn’t really set the world on fire just yet. The simple fact is that, apart from the limited rollout of cashless transaction systems from the likes of Visa, Google and Orange, there’s still not a hell of a lot that these NFC capabilities can be used for. Samsung is looking to change this with the introduction of NFC stickers called TecTiles that can be programmed to automate various smartphone functions.
Working in conjunction with the free TecTile programming application running on an NFC-enabled Android smartphone, Samsung envisages individuals automating everyday functions, such as launching an app, sending an “at home” text message when walking in the door, putting the phone on silent, or dimming the display and setting an alarm when climbing into bed. Businesses, meanwhile, would be able to let customers check-in on Facebook or foursquare, or connect to Wi-Fi to download content or discount offers.
While Samsung has said it would like to offer cross-category programming in the future, initially the programming will be limited to combining functions within four separate categories. These are:
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
Once a TecTile has been programmed, it can be read by any NFC-enabled smartphone, including non-Samsung devices such as the HTC One X or LG Optimus Elite. Individual TecTiles can also be reprogrammed, however, the programming can be locked to prevent nefarious types from making changes.
Launching alongside the Galaxy S III, Samsung is selling TecTiles in packs of five for US$14.99.