Thanks for purchasing one of my Moonbeam charms! Here is some information, as well as tips and tricks on how to get started.
NFC stands for near-field communication, and it allows phones, tablets to share data with other NFC-equipped devices easily.
The chips inside the charm are passive and don’t require power and can be programmed with apps to perform certain tasks when scanned. For example, you can put one on your desk, and with a scan on the charm, you can set your phone to vibrate, disable GPS, or open an app. It uses the same technology as tap-to-pay and Amiibos! These NFC chips are passive and do not connect with other passive devices and don’t process data from outside sources. They’re also a fun and easy way to share your contact info!
Let’s set one up to use to share our portfolio. Do not worry if you make a mistake – the chip can be reprogrammed as multiple times!
- We will need to download an app to read and write to the NFC chip. There are a couple options for apps, but the one we will be using is NFCTools.
- Make sure you have NFC turned on in phone settings.
- Under the WRITE tab, click Add a record
- Click on URL/URI to add the link to your portfolio.
- It is possible to add multiple records to our chip (each has 492 bytes of storage), but the first URL record will be the one to open when the chip is scanned. To add more, repeat Add a record for each.
- Click Write and hold the charm up to the back of your phone. You may need to move it around a bit to find the scanning spot as some phones have the reader on a different location.
- To test, return to the home screen and tap the charm on the back of the phone. We should get a pop-up directing to the URL we’ve added earlier
Tips and Tricks
Some things I’ve discovered while researching and experimenting on the functions I wanted my tags to perform:
- lf you get Write Error! Go to the OTHER tab, and do Erase Tag. It also helps to go to the READ tab to scan the tag before trying to write again. Repeat the erase and read as needed, it will eventually work after a couple of tries.
- As mentioned in Step 5 of the Instructions, I’ve found that even though the chip can hold multiple records of various types, it will perform whichever is the first. Therefore, if you want to share multiple social media or websites, you may want to use a linktree or similar page.
- From my research, Apple and Android behave differently when scanning tags due to each’s security protocol. For example, if you have created a “Contact” record, scanning the tag with an Android will automatically open and save a new contact. But on iOS, you’ll need to jump through a couple more hoops. In most scenarios, your device will open the link using a web browser.
- To make use of the ability to hold multiple record types, I found this workaround after hours of experimenting and research (I’m using an Android device so I don’t know if this works on iOS ) The most beneficial aspect of this method is that it opens the social media app to your profile instead of in browser. It isn’t the most elegant because the user has to scan the tag multiple times to access the different records, but was unable to find any info on how to do this anywhere else:
- Make the first record a Text type (you can put your name/title/whatever). This bypasses the default action of opening the browser when the tag is scanned.
- Add any other records you want. You can use the Social Network and even Mail or Contact, and it should open the relevant app when selected
- Here is an example, ready to write
- Scanning that tag brings up this screen, and tapping on per each item will take you to appropriate app, as opposed to directing you to a login screen for Twitter or IG. It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s direct!
- More uses for NFC chips: Youtube videos for more advanced uses from the developer
For the DIY kit: to remove the keyring while you’re decorating, you will need two strong pairs of pliers. I recommend opening it up sideways so that the ring forms a short spiral instead of a C, as that will make it very hard to close. I’d love to see how you’ve decorated it so please feel free to tag or email me!
And that’s it! If you have trouble or make any other discoveries, feel free to leave a comment or email me!