If you’re to realize the full benefits of NFC technology, you must know how to program NFC tags. The programming process entails writing information into the tag and storing it in the tag’s memory.
While NFC tag programming may sound complicated, it is a simple process that takes a few minutes! In this article, we let you know the steps to follow to complete the writing process and enjoy the benefits of using NFC technology.
What is NFC Tag Programming?
NFC tag programming refers to the process of writing commands on an NFC tag. When you get an empty tag, you’re obliged to write the actions that you would want it to perform.
You should note that the NFC tag can only share the information stored in it. As such, you have the chance to personalize it, thus making it execute commands that you need at any given time.
For example, you can buy an NFC tag to enable your visitors to access your Wi-Fi without inputting the password. In such a case, you will be required to write the Wi-Fi password on your NFC tag and place it in a strategic place.
Visitors will then be able to access the Wi-Fi by activating their NFC and bringing their device close to the NFC tag (approximately 4 cm).
What You Need to Program an NFC Tag
The requirements for programming an NFC tag are basic and affordable. The simplicity makes it easy for you to automate most of the processes in your home or your business.
To program your NFC tag successfully, you must have the following:
- An NFC Tag. Blank/Open NFC tags are readily available at your trusted NFC dealer or online retailers. Ensure that you choose a tag that suits your memory needs.
- An Android or iOS Device. Ensure that your device is NFC-compatible. To check this, just open your device’s settings and search NFC. If the device is NFC-enabled, you will see an NFC app.
- An NFC Programming App. There are myriad options of free NFC programming tools on the play store. The most popular ones include NFC Writer, NFC Launcher, NXP Tagwriter, and NFC Tools.
Once you’ve confirmed that you meet the 3 basic requirements, the process of NFC writing will be a breeze!
Still worried about how to start the process? Read the steps below:
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Program NFC Tags
In this guide, we show you how to write NFC tags with both Android devices and iPhones. The process is similar for both devices, and we shall use NXP Tagwriter to demonstrate the process (you can also use any other tag writer – we recommend NXP Tagwriter or NFC Tools).
NXP Tagwriter has unique features that will enable you to write, read, erase, and protect your tags. Its application is pretty straightforward, thus ideal for NFC beginners.
Using this tool, you can write different information to your NFC tag, including a link/URL, Wi-Fi passwords, email, telephone number, business card, geolocation, information to launch an application, and plain text. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Download NXP Tagwriter
The initial step requires that you download the NXP Tagwriter application from Google Play store or Apple Store. Once you download it, press the “install” button to launch it and ready it for use.
Step 2: Open the NXP Tagwriter Application
When you open the application, you should tap on the “Write Tag” button. Immediately after tapping, you will be provided with several buttons including New Data Set, My Data Sets, Copy Tag, Write from CSV, and Copy QR Code.
Step 3: Start the NFC Tag Writing Process
From the options provided, you should tap on “New Dataset”. You will be asked the type of information you want to write on the tag. The options may include URL/Link, Text, and Wi-Fi among others.
Step 4: Select the Information to Write on the NFC Tag
For this demonstration, we will write an URL link to the NFC tag. As such, you should tap on the “Link” button. You will then be required to enter a title/ description of the link (optional). When typing the URL, we recommend that you start with “https://” for optimal functionality.
Other options in this stage include:
- Add Tag UID (Mirror). This option enables you to add a unique identifier that will enable you to track the activity of the link. For example, you can monitor the number of visitors that accessed your website using the NFC tag. This function is best if you have multiple NFC tags and you need to monitor the performance of each.
- Add Interaction Counter (Mirror). This is an option that complements the Tag UID feature. It adds an incrementing number at the end of your URL every time a visitor interacts with your NFC tag. For example, when the first person interacts with the URL, it adds 1 at the end, when the second one interacts with it, it adds 2, and so forth.
If you do not wish to activate the two features, you should leave the boxes unchecked. Once you’re through, you should press the “Save and Write” button.
Step 5: Customize Your NFC Tag
The next screen will offer you the option of customizing your NFC tag and optimizing it for security. It features the following boxes:
- Write Multiple NFC Tags (one by one). Only check this box if you wish to write the same content on multiple tags.
- Protection. This option enables you to protect your NFC tag. It will allow you to customize Password Protection, Soft Protection, and Lock Tag. Checking the “Password Protection” box makes your tag read-only (only re-written with a different password) while soft protection prevents the tag from being overwritten by a different user. On the other hand, the “Lock Tag” makes the tag 100% read-only.
- Confirm Overwrite. This box enables you to delete previous data thus creating space for new data.
- Enable Interaction Counter. Only click this option if you added the interaction mirror on the preceding steps.
Once you’re through with this step, you should click the “Write” button. If you need to add more data, click the “Add More Record” button.
Step 6: Complete the Process
At this stage, you will be ready to store the data. To achieve this, you should tap the tag to the back of your phone/device. Hold the tag (touching the back) for 5 seconds and a message “Confirm Overwrite” will appear. Tap “Confirm Store”. A message “Write Successful” will appear, indicating that the process was successful.