Samsung's TecTiles Put NFC Anywhere You Want

NFC (that's near field communication) is a slick mobile technology that's in its infancy. To grow it up in a hurry Samsung will be selling sets of little NFC stickers called TecTiles along side the Galaxy S III. What can they do? A lot, actually.

TecTiles are innocuous little stickers (about one square inch) that have an NFC tag embedded in them. The functionality of these tags, though, is entirely up to you. With a free app you can easily program them to do whatever you want. For example:

  • You could have one stuck to your desk. When you get to work you just tap your phone on it to turn it to vibrate, turn on Wi-Fi, and turn off GPS.
  • You could have one on your front door. When you get home, you tap your phone and it automatically fires off a text to your wife that says, "Just got in. If you're not home in 10 minutes I'll orgy with the Hendersons."
  • It could also be a cool thing for businesses. They put a sticker on their front window, then when people tap it they are automatically checked-in via Foursquare or Facebook, or it adds to a loyalty card (yes APIs will be available). Or people could tap it to follow your band on Twitter. They're pretty flexible, very easy to program, and they're fully rewritable.
  • Like the Galaxy S III, TecTiles will be available on June 21st in all of the major wireless carriers' stores, online, and in other retail locations. They'll work with any Samsung phone that has NFC (and maybe other phones with NFC?).

    You can score a five-pack of the stickers for US$15, but there-in lies the problem: they're only available in the US at the moment. Samsung Australia hasn't got back to us with information on local availability or pricing. While it might have really nifty applications, it looks like you'll have to go to the effort of importing them if you want to take advantage.

    The TecTile isn't ground-breaking, but it's a pretty practical usage of NFC technology. Mobile payments gets the majority of media attention when it comes to NFC, so it's nice to see some at-home use cases. [Samsung]


Comments

    Are these true NFC or just RFID?

    "More accurate than GPS for many purposes. Keep an eye out for apps that use the cloud and know which tag means what." – near "Toilet" TecTile (0.57m)

    There are a bunch of online sellers selling these tags, they are not limited to Samsung phones but any phone with an NFC reader.

    They cost about $1 each.

      Ooh I just had a look and bought some and downloaded a program from the play store called NFC Task Launcher, looks like it's really easy to just do all this stuff yourself! SO EXCITED! hahah

    Never knew about these. Sound pretty damn cool.

    i wonder if this will work with the nexus? Also the Samsung app in the play store states is only for the US and Canada.

    I've been playing with NFC tags for a while with a Nokia 700 and they are pretty useful, sooo much easier to use than the 3D barcodes.

    I ordered some of these, scanned one per the instructions to get the app to do the programming of the tags, and discovered it's only downloadable from google play in the US and Canada only. :(

    Fell into same trap as Brett. Any idea why the app is not available in Oz and when/if it will be in the future?

    I just got my Tactile from US.Opened the package.Tapped my phone,and it took me to the play store to download the special app to run it.But the playstore politely informed me that this app is not available in your country!!! there goes my $25 wasted.
    From Melbourne

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