To Make Use of NFC with Sony’s Xperia SmartTags

Sony-Xperia-SmartTags-Android-NFC-rfid-blogTo a good many people, rumors about the awesomeness of NFC may be the closest they’ve gotten to NFC. But actually, the concept of NFC is pretty simple: you have a sensor built into your Android device, and when you hold your phone or tablet against another NFC-equipped device (or an unpowered NFC tag), you can transmit information to the device or cause the device to take some sort of an action. For example, you could exchange contact information by tapping two NFC-equipped devices together, or instantly pay for your purchase by tapping your phone against an NFC-ready terminal at a retail shop.

Although it’s a great idea, the reality is that there hasn’t been a lot of NFC out there. Yes, there are a handful of phones and tablets with NFC onboard, but they haven’t exactly been prevalent. Even if you have an NFC-equipped phone, it’s hard to find someone else who actually had another one.

While we wait for NFC to really take off in real world applications (such as at retail establishments), Sony has introduced an accessory that allows NFC device users to actually make full use of this technology. Sony’s Xperia SmartTags pack contains four color-coded NFC tags which you can place around your house, office, car, etc., sold on $30 for a pack.

Each tag has a unique ID onboard, and you can program each of them to do something different when you tap your phone against them. As there are just four different tag IDs in the Xperia SmartTags, for the time being, you can program up to four different actions for each tap. But with another NFC-equipped device, you can set another four totally different actions.

So, you can set up the black tag in your bedroom and program it to mute the phone, turn off the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, set an alarm and start the clock application; set up the blue tag in your car and allow it to turn Bluetooth on, and automatically start the navigation app; set up the red tag besides your door and set it to turn on Bluetooth to connect to your exercise accessories, and automatically start your exercise playlist.

The Xperia SmartTags can be used with any NFC-equipped Android device running Android 2.3.3 or better, but you’ll have to download LiveWare Manager and the SmartTags app from Google Play.