2013-08-08

Can I use NFC tags with CliqTags, and if so how?

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You sure can. CliqTags is inherently NFC compatible, by using very short links for accessing mobile sites. Actually, sites created in CliqTags behave exactly the same whether accessed via QR Codes, SMS, NFC or any other method.

What’s NFC?

NFC (Near Field Communication) is a specialization/extension of RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) for specifically mobile devices, and primarily mobile phones. It can be used for information retrieval, payments (provided infrastructure for that), personal identification, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth configuration etc.

A smartphone uses weak radio communication over a few centimeters to read out information from an NFC tag, that essentially is an antenna with an information chip, that can be configured to store any information, provided it’s brief.

The phone sends out a signal that powers the chip, enough for it to send its stored information. As tags have no batteries (usually), it’s possible to provide them in many different form factors, including very thin or small, as self-adhesive stickers, as badges, credit card sized etc, as seen in the picture.

The data stored in the tag can be interpreted as plain text, links, SMSs, e-mail etc by the reading application in a standardized way.

How do I use NFC tags in mobile marketing?

Put NFC tags on posters, on shopping windows, on buses etc and have users access whatever information you want to convey.

As the NFC tag doesn’t have to be visible, you are in complete control of the printed information on top of the NFC tag. Especially if you use the self-adhesive ones and put them behind posters. Then the only thing a user sees is a printed call-to-action message, like “Touch to Win” etc, framed in an attractive way.

How much data can I fit in an NFC tag?

The simpler NTAG203 compatible ones can store a little more than 100 bytes. Mifare1k compatible ones can store almost 800 bytes.

Yet, when used with CliqTags, both work well, as a CliqTags link is very short, 20-30 bytes, depending on the site ID.

Aren’t they expensive?

In small volumes they are a few $. In volume they can go below $1. Stickers are less expensive than badges.

How do I get hold of some NFC tags?

They are provided by almost all shops selling phone gadgets, but can also be ordered on-line.

There are several providers that can ship pre-configured NFC tags with possible print in volume.

What do I need to configure NFC tags for use with CliqTags?

For small-volume applications you can install CliqTags NFC Writer that is specifically designed for use with CliqTags and that makes configuring tags very easy.

For volume applications you can order NFC tags with pre-configured information. We can help you with that.

What about phone compatbility?

Sadly, iPhone still doesn’t support NFC at all, but many Android phones do, and likely all will in due time. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from combining NFC with QR Codes and SMS requests in the same context and for the same information.

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