If you thought NFC was just for making mobile payments, think again. Samsung is about to change all of that with their new TecTiles Programmable NFC Tags. These tags are designed to unleash the potential of NFC in smartphones, by making phones instantly perform actions such as launching apps, sending text messages, sharing contact information, and changing phone settings.
The way it works is that you take an NFC-enabled Galaxy smartphone and tap it against a TecTile Tag. This will cause the phone to launch an action. These actions can range from an automatic Foursquare or Facebook Check-in, to setting an alarm, silencing a phone, or making a call. Imagine walking into a theater and having your phone tap a TecTile that automatically puts your phone on silence mode. Or perhaps, walking into a restaurant and tapping a TecTile to check in on Foursquare.
Samsung TecTiles will transform how businesses large and small engage with consumers. On premise, TecTiles enable consumers to check-in on Facebook or foursquare , connect to Wi-Fi or download content. Off-premise, businesses can use TecTiles as a way to market to and engage with consumers by enabling reward programs and to download discount offers or content.
The TecTile Tag itself resembles your average sticker and it can be easily attached to just about any surface. We experienced a brief hands-on with TecTiles used with a Galaxy S III. The experience is very neat, and even fun. We imagine that businesses will come up with plenty of creative ways to implement TecTiles for their customers to interact with.
At the moment, Samsung mobile envisions businesses being the ones to primarily take advantage of TecTiles. However, the technology is open up to everyone, especially since TecTiles are easy to be programmed, and can be customized by using a free mobile app that Samsung provides. The TecTile Tags themselves are also reprogrammable, so you can keep changing their actions.
TecTiles programmable NFC sticker tags will come in packs of 5 and retail for $14.99. As for a list compatible phones, the line-up currently includes:
- Samsung Galaxy S III on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon
- Samsung Galaxy S II on T-Mobile
- Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, Sprint and GSM Unlocked
- Nexus S 4G on Sprint
- Samsung Galaxy S Blaze
- 4G on T-Mobile