Experimenting with NFC tag

My new smart phone has NFC capabilities so there is time to try them. What is NFC and how do I program NFC tags?

Wikipedia defines NFC: Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters. Present and anticipated applications include contactless transactions, data exchange, and simplified setup of more complex communications such as Wi-Fi. Communication is also possible between an NFC device and an unpowered NFC chip, called a “tag”.

Typical application type is that you take your NFC enabled device, touch it to another NFC device or “tag”, and your device does something automatically. What is done could be a payment made using NFC technologies or your mobile phone can open a web page that the “tag” points to. How to Automate Your Phone for Every Room in the House with NFC Tags gives some more ideas what you can do. Sound something that I would want to try.

So the next thing is to get NFC “tag” and program it. How to program an NFC tag with your Android device tells that programming an NFC tag from your NFC-capable Android device is extremely easy and can lend itself to some very useful scenarios. All you need is Android device with NFC capabilities, NFC tags and an app that allows you to write to the tags. The article recommends to buy pre-formatted tags.

8 Types Of Data You Can Easily Program On NFC Tags article tells what can be written to NFC tags:
Types Of Data You Can Store On NFC Tags
1. Website URL
2. Foursquare/Facebook Venue Check-In
3. Address Book Contact
4. Phone Number – make a phone call.
5. Plain Text
6. Pre-formatted Email
7. Link to a Map
8. Smartphone Profiles

How To Program NFC Tags With Your Android Device [Video] and How to program an NFC tag with your Android device video gives instructions on the programming task.

For testing purposes I bought Diamond Shape Rewritable Waterproof 13.56Mhz NFC Smart Tag – Transparent + Silver. According to specifications it looked promising: Memory Capacity: 1 Kbyte EEPROM Storage(716 free bytes available); Suitable for long url, annotation, information and tasks. Type: MIFARE classic 1K(MF1ICS50). Application can read the NFC tags and cover with any smartphones that has NFC function

I finally got the device (took quite bit of time for the slow mail to get it to me).

Sounded good, but did not work on my smartphone Samsung S4 mini :-( The smartphone kept telling that it could not work with it. The description on the product said works with “any smartphones that has NFC function”. Was my unit broken or is there something else wrong?

After some Google searching I learned more. Mifare Classic NFC Tags Compatibility Issues – Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy S4, & New (2013) Nexus 7 article tells that there was a lot of confusion about the Nexus 4 and 10 and NFC compatibility with the Mifare Classic 1K NFC Tags. The article tells that NXP has been one of the leading manufacturers of NFC hardware and pretty much all Android phones up to a certain point used NXP hardware. NXP created the Mifare Classic 1K Chip specifically to be compatible with it’s hardware and not necessarily to adhere to the protocols. Those Mifare Classic chips are not necessarily compatible with any phone that uses other manufacturer’s hardware, that work only with tags that completely adhere to the NFC Forum’s Protocols. The article recommends to get NFC tag that complies with the NFC Forum’s protocol, for example NTAG203 or Topaz 512 Tags.

It seems that Samsung was also hit by those same compatibility issues when they changed their NFC chips from NXP to Broadcom. Samsung Galaxy S 4 Incompatible with Original TecTiles, TecTile 2 Announced article says that new phones are not compatible with NFC stickers Samsung sold just a short while ago.

It seems that my first trial with NFC failed. I need to get standards compliant NFC tags to continue. I just learned that you need to be careful what type of NFC tags to get if you want them to be compatible with all NFC enabled phones. It might be a good idea to stay away from Mifare Classic 1K NFC Tags which you can seen in quite many places.

35 Comments

  1. Tomi says:

    Samsung S3 controlled by NFC tags
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VSOPD8VP_Q

    what you can do with modern phones that support NFC

    Reply
  2. NFC tag success with TecTiles « Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog says:

    [...] tag success with TecTiles After first failed NFC experiment I started to look for some more compatible NFC tags. After some quick search on shops (I wanted to [...]

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Quite cool idea:

    RFID Jacket Flashes the Crowd at Make Fashion 2014
    http://hackaday.com/2014/03/04/rfid-jacket-flashes-the-crowd-at-make-fashion-2014/

    The [RADLab team] has created an eye-opening RFID jacket for Make Fashion 2014.

    During the fashion show, the jacket wearer danced with a second model who had RFID tags sewn into his t-shirt. The LED clusters on the front, back and sleeves of the jacket would light up, and change color and flash frequency based upon which tag and antenna got a read.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFC Ring Unlocks Your Phone
    http://hackaday.com/2014/03/17/nfc-ring-unlocks-your-phone/

    This little ring packs the guts of an NFC keyfob, allowing [Joe] to unlock his phone with a touch of his finger.

    The NFC Ring was inspired by a Kickstarter project for a similar device.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Unlocking your Computer with a Leonardo and an NFC Shield
    http://hackaday.com/2014/04/01/unlocking-your-computer-with-a-leonardo-and-an-nfc-shield/

    Manually typing your login password every time you need to login on your computer can get annoying, especially if it is long and complex. To tackle this problem [Lewis] assembled an NFC computer unlocker by using an Arduino Leonardo together with an NFC shield.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Interesting news:

    Fingernails that sense NFC signals
    LED fingernails flash when near-field communication is detected
    http://www.electronicproducts.com/Optoelectronics/LEDs/Fingernails_that_sense_NFC_signals.aspx

    Lumi Deco LED enhanced fingernails have been created by the Japanese company Takara Tomy Arts. These “smart nails” are fully equipped with sensors to notify the wearer when the wireless near-field communication (NFC) functionality of another smartphone is in close proximity to the nail-bearer’s location.

    There are no batteries, capacitors, or power sources that enable these LED nails to flash. It works by feeding off the NFC signal of other Android devices.

    All the LEDs need is the NFC signal to flash.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cloud-based NFC brings traceability and marketing mix
    http://www.microwave-eetimes.com/en/cloud-based-nfc-brings-traceability-and-marketing-mix.html?cmp_id=7&news_id=222904922

    RFID has been around for some time in logistics and implemented as a basic-antitheft device de-activated at the cashier. The readers used to be proprietary and the chips would not provide any useful information outside an identification number to be matched with the retailer’s own logistics database.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Unlock your Android phone with NFC! Use this ring to rewind a tag antenna around your finger. Full guide: https://learn.adafruit.com/unlock-android-with-wearable-nfc/

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Unlock Your Phone with NFC – Ring & Manicure
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLJ_RCSKF8o

    Becky Stern shows you how to unlock your phone just by picking it up– make an NFC ring or give yourself an RFID manicure, mod your Android, and get scanning!

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android DevKit for MIFARE, ICODE and NTAG
    http://www.eeweb.com/company-news/nxp/android-devkit-for-mifare-icode-and-ntag/

    NXP Semiconductors, announced the release its first Android Development Kit for MIFARE, ICODE and NTAG products. It allows Android application developers to enhance on developing new business models.

    The MIFARE SDK is designed to provide access to all hardware features on Java level and enables Android apps to be created for MIFARE, ICODE and NTAG more easily than ever before. Leveraging the worldwide success of NXP´s product installations, the launch of MIFARE SDK opens up a world of new possibilities for creative Android application developers.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RFID & NFC: What’s the Difference?
    http://www.saasintheenterprise.com/author.asp?doc_id=270356&_mc=sem_otb_site

    RFID tags are either unpowered (passive) or battery-powered (active). You need a passive RFID reader to send radio frequency (RF) energy to passive RFID tags at close proximity. Once the tags get the energy, they emit a signal back to the reader. Active tags automatically broadcast their signal to an active reader many feet away.

    NFC tags are not battery-powered. To power the NFC tag, you need a NFC-enabled smartphone to transmit radio signals. You need the NXPTagwriter program for your smartphone to write or modify tags.

    You can use an NFC-enabled smartphone (as a reader) to establish radio communication with another smartphone (as a card or tag emulator). This can be done by bringing them in close proximity no more than a few inches.

    NFC devices operate at the same frequency (13.56 MHz) as the HF (high frequency) RFID readers that read tags in close proximity. Some NFC devices can read HF RFID tags that are compliant with ISO 15693.

    A RFID passive tag stores data anywhere from 64 bits to 1 kilobyte. An active tag stores data as high as 128 kilobytes or more. Unlike the RFID memory, the size of NFC memory is too small for use in large scale-supply chain.

    NFC devices cannot be used to read LF (low frequency) and UHF (ultra high frequency) RFID tags. LF and UHF RFID tags operate with the data speed of 120-150 kHz and 433 MHz respectively.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Now the NFC technology is predicted to become the market of billions of euros.

    Marketsandmarkets Research Institute predicts that the NFC market will grow to $ 16.25 billion, or almost 12 billion by 2020. Year on year, to reach just over eight per cent.

    Near Field Communication is really not anything new technologies: RFID 13.56 MHz frequency utilizing technology received a formal beginnings in 2004, as Nokia, Sony and Philips founded the NFC Forum.

    Source: http://etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1557:nfc-lahtee-miljardikasvuun&catid=13&Itemid=101

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EU to Boost RFID Use & Privacy
    http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1323595&

    Although radio-frequency identification (RFID) has been around for many years, its use has not been properly regulated until now. Regulation did not seem necessary because, until a few years ago, the proximity needed between devices and the limited use — confined to basic tagging and security applications — did not pose any privacy concerns.

    But the explosion of near-field communication (NFC) devices and the Internet of Things has opened up new applications for RFID, and it is starting to create serious implications.

    Now the European Union is taking steps to ensure that RFID technologies are used properly, in line with the EU Privacy Directive, and help boost the use of smartcards and smart tags without posing a threat to people’s privacy.

    It is easy, and cheap, for anyone to start using RFID tags for any application, and there is very little control of its deployment.

    The EU has created a standard RFID sign that should be displayed and present in every product or service using smart tags or NFC. Also consumers should be able to remove the RFID device from the products purchased or request to be disabled immediately after purchase. What the EU wants is that consumers are aware of the presence of those smart tags and their rights to protect their privacy.

    “People using electronic travel passes, or buying clothes and supermarket items with RFID tags in the label, will know that smart chips are present thanks to the RFID sign”

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFC: Locking iPhone Users In
    It’s all about the business model
    http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1323801&

    However, the fascinating aspect of NFC in the iPhone 6 is not so much the technology itself. We know how NFC works — both for mobile payment and its simple pairing ability. In fact, more forward-looking companies, including Korean giant Samsung, integrated NFC in their smartphones and peripherals years ago. But curiously, Apple remained a staunch holdout.

    The bigger game-changer, in my mind, which the introduction of iPhone 6 is expected to bring, is a breakthrough Apple has negotiated with mobile carriers, banks, and credit card companies.

    Many software and hardware companies in the high-tech industry have dreamed of mobile wallets for a long time — maybe as long as two decades.

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFC: Locking iPhone Users In
    It’s all about the business model
    http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1323801&

    However, the fascinating aspect of NFC in the iPhone 6 is not so much the technology itself. We know how NFC works — both for mobile payment and its simple pairing ability. In fact, more forward-looking companies, including Korean giant Samsung, integrated NFC in their smartphones and peripherals years ago. But curiously, Apple remained a staunch holdout.

    The bigger game-changer, in my mind, which the introduction of iPhone 6 is expected to bring, is a breakthrough Apple has negotiated with mobile carriers, banks, and credit card companies.

    Reply
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  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CircuitVisionTM Analysis of NXP’s PN547 NFC IC
    http://www2.techinsights.com/l/8892/2014-09-10/fwsj3

    TechInsights has procured NXP’s PN547 Near Field Communications (NFC) controller, and we are in the process of completing detailed analysis of the chip.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFC development kit interfaces to Android, Linux and Windows
    http://edn.com/design/design-tools/development-kits/4435057/NFC-development-kit-interfaces-to-Android–Linux-and-Windows?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_consumerelectronics_20140924&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_consumerelectronics_20140924&elq=2a99b08cf66c44538a5b205e0e9560d7&elqCampaignId=19303

    The AS3911 NFC development kit and interface software stack launched by ams AG provides a blueprint for an NFC implementation in any MCU-based system.

    The kit eliminates the need for the OEM designer to implement a complete, proprietary software interface between a host MCU, its operating system and the NFC reader IC.

    The software in the AS3911 development kit includes an NFC Controller Interface (NCI) stack, a standard-based modular firmware/software solution, operating from the hardware level up to the operating system. Developed in collaboration with Stollmann E+V GmbH, it manages the interaction between an MCU and any NFC/HF reader in the AS391x family from ams.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Using a Standard Coil for NFC Tag Implant Reading
    http://hackaday.com/2014/10/08/using-a-standard-coil-for-nfc-tag-implant-reading/

    A few months ago Hackaday covered the xNT crowdfunding campaign which aimed at making an NTAG216 based NFC implant for different purposes. I actually backed it, found that standard NFC readers don’t perform well and therefore decided to try using a standard coil as an antenna for better reading performances.

    Most NFC readers typically only have a small sweet spot where implant reading is possible. This is due to what we call coupling factor which depends on the reading distance and reader & NFC tag antenna geometries. Having a smaller antenna diameter increases the coupling factor and makes implant positioning easier.

    Using a Standard Coil for NFC Tag Implant Reading
    http://www.limpkin.fr/index.php?post/2014/10/07/Using-a-Standard-Coil-for-NFC-Tag-Implant-Reading

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Eyes New Uses for NFC Beyond iPhone Payments
    https://www.theinformation.com/Apple-Eyes-New-Uses-for-NFC-Beyond-iPhone-Payments

    Consumers are just starting to use Apple Pay to make purchases at cash registers and online stores. But Apple representatives have also talked to potential partners about using the technology behind Apple Pay for other sorts of transactions, including building security access and accepting tickets at public transit turnstiles.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Help a Journalist With An NFC Chip Implant Violate His Own Privacy and Security
    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/10/29/005243/help-a-journalist-with-an-nfc-chip-implant-violate-his-own-privacy-and-security

    this guy got an NFC chip implanted in his arm, where it will stay for at least a year. He’s inviting everyone to come up with uses for it. Especially ones that violate his privacy and security. There must be something better to do than getting into the office or unlocking your work PC.

    “The chip we are using is the xNTi, an NFC type 2 NTAG216, which is about the size of a grain of rice and is manufactured by the Dutch semiconductor company NXP”

    Getting chipped: Why I will live with an NFC chip implant for a year
    http://www.computerworld.com/article/2839441/getting-chipped-why-i-will-live-with-an-nfc-chip-implant-for-a-year.html

    What happens when you get an NFC chip implant? IDG Netherlands News Editor René Schoemaker is testing that out.

    I got chipped together with nine other volunteers during the IT Innovation Day organized by IDG Netherlands. The other volunteers and I will spend the next 12 months testing the use of an NFC chip in our daily lives to see whether having the chip implanted in our bodies is more useful than using a chip embedded on a card or in a smartphone.

    So far, it has been pretty useless though. We are still in the process of coming up with possible applications such as using the chip to pay for public transportation or in shops and restaurants.

    I have already had contact with a well-known global IT-security firm about a program that can install malware on smartphones by using the chip in my hand. If you can get spyware on a phone, you can easily snoop on people, for example, your spouse or your boss. But perhaps we will try to get our hands on our secretary of Justice and Homeland Security to show how easy it is to breach security.

    The chip is a showcase to make people think more about security when it comes to new technology.

    The chip we are using is the xNTi, an NFC type 2 NTAG216, which is about the size of a grain of rice and is manufactured by the Dutch semiconductor company NXP, maker of the NFC chip for the new iPhone. It is a glass transponder with an operating frequency of 13.56MHz, developed for mass-market applications such as retail, gaming and consumer electronics.

    The chip’s storage capacity is pretty limited, the UID (unique identifier) is 7 bytes, while the read/write memory is 888 bytes. It can be secured with a 32-bit password and can be overwritten about 100,000 times, by which point the memory will be quite worn. Data transmission takes place at a baud rate of 106 kbit/s and the chip is readable up to 10 centimeters, though it is possible to boost that distance.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFC comes to cars

    NFC technology is, for example, devices for rapid pairing and Apple’s support of it is expected to increase rapidly in popularity of mobile payment area. Now, NXP is bringing technology to the cars.

    NXP has introduced the world’s first automotive conditions in place qualified NFC controller NCF3340.

    What NFC can then be used in cars? NXP list of typical Bluetooth and Wi-Fi pairing, for example, in addition to fleet management. In the future, NFC-enabled smart phone to start your car remotely from your smartphone.

    NFC can be attached to cars and car keys to portable devices such as smart phones, but also the network infrastructure. This opens up all sorts of possibilities, for example, a variety of paid services.

    ABI Research predicts that this year, are already sold 418 million NFC-enabled smartphone. In 2019 the number is already growing one and a half billion.

    Source: http://etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2007:nyt-nfc-tulee-autoihin&catid=13&Itemid=101

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Interesting article on NFC:

    Here’s why I implanted an NFC chip in my hand
    http://www.connectedly.com/why-i-implanted-nfc-chip-hand

    I have recently taken a deeper step into the connected world. A step that some will describe as being interesting, and that some will describe as being crazy. To be honest, as happy as I am since I have taken this step, I have to admit that I fall on both the interesting and crazy sides myself. Before getting any further, I should mention that the “step” I took was implanting an NFC chip in my hand.

    The chip was implanted in my left hand and sits between my thumb and pointer finger. Surprisingly — or thanks to the internet not so surprisingly — a kit that included all the necessary gear was easy to purchase. I made the purchase through a company called Dangerous Things, and for those curious — I paid $99 for a 13.56MHz ISO14443A & NFC Type 2 NTAG216 RFID chipset that is encased in a 2x12mm cylindrical biocompatible glass casing. Essentially that means the chip is safe to implant, and that it will work with all NFC compliant reader/writer devices.

    I will say the process was quick, easy — and despite the large size of the needle — relatively painless.

    Implanting the Chip

    I mentioned this isn’t a procedure that just anyone should get done, but actually finding someone willing to implant the chip took some effort. As I found, not everyone is going to be willing to implant an NFC chip in your hand. In my case I ended up getting the procedure done by a friend of a friend. And to clarify, that friend of a friend is a medical professional. They had never implanted an NFC chip, however they have been in the medical profession for many years.

    Assuming you find someone willing and able, the actual process of implanting the chip is easy.

    There really isn’t much to the healing process. The needle is likely the biggest needle you’ve seen or been stuck with, but it is just that — a needle stick. That means there isn’t any cutting or stitches involved. Essentially, you’ll just have a red mark where the needle was inserted. This mark will heal up, and in my case, a month later I can only see a faint mark on my skin. You will also be able to feel the chip under your skin.

    I decided to keep the use simple and limited to securing my phone initially to keep costs down.

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NXP Gives Android Its Apple Pay
    NXP launches module for secure NFC mobile transactions
    http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1324531&

    NXP, having worked with Apple on Apple Pay, now launches its PN66T module for secure NFC mobile transactions — for Android.

    In the past few weeks Apple Pay has been making the news as the new way to easily implement mobile payments with the iPhone 6 and the upcoming Apple Watch.

    What Apple did — apparently with a lot of help from NXP — is bring the best of both worlds together: a mobile device with a hardware secure element (not the SIM card) that can be easily provisioned over the air by the issuing bank or credit-card company.

    Users only need to snap a picture of any payment card supported by Apple Pay and, after a security check, the SE is provisioned over the internet with the right credentials. Apple used the NXP 65V10 NFC module, which probably contains the PN548 Secure Element. The solution has been jointly developed by NXP and Apple.

    Now NXP is launching the PN66T, a single solution to implement the same functionality of Apple Pay but for Android devices. While NXP claims that the module is OS independent, the features clearly indicate that Android devices are the likely recipients of the SoC.

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wireless Internet SDK integrates Wi-Fi, BLE and NFC
    http://www.edn.com/design/design-tools/development-kits/4438018/Wireless-Internet-SDK-integrates-Wi-Fi–BLE-and-NFC-?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_consumerelectronics_20141217&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_consumerelectronics_20141217&elq=90cda48b5c8b49989e03f6ee38c4c3ce&elqCampaignId=20763

    The Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) software development kit (SDK) from Broadcom now integrates Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and NFC into single development kit. It enables a seamless tap-and-connect consumer experience for IoT devices and simplifies integration of NFC for developers in home, medical, retail and enterprise segments.

    The WICED SDK with NFC simplifies the set-up process between mobile and smart devices. The tap-to-activate capability of NFC enables a user to touch their smartphone to a portable speaker and instantly launch a music streaming application without a complex set-up menu.

    “Broadcom is the first to integrate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart onto a single platform, and today we further distance ourselves from the competition by adding NFC to our WICED software stack,”

    NFC users expected to reach more than 500 million by 2019 according to Juniper Research, NFC Mobile Payments, October 2014.

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFC Tags Get Much Needed Security Upgrade
    NFC Forum beefs up security on its tags as IoT apps proliferate
    http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1326579&

    The NFC Forum, which manages and promotes the Near Field Communications protocol, has just come up with a major update of its Signature Record Type Definition (SRTD) 2.0 spec for securing NFC transactions. It comes none too soon, with companies introducing a flood of applications related to cell phones as well a variety of IoT use cases.

    According to NFC Forum estimates derived from shipment numbers its members reported, there are in excess of 500 million NFC-enabled smartphones in the global marketplace. And according to market research collected by Strategy Analytics, the number of NFC-enabled devices will grow sharply as an increasing number of manufacturers integrate NFC technology into devices in the home and in commercial buildings, where many will use already widely available smart phones as the means to access such devices.

    Then, too, there is the use of NFC in wearable Internet of Things (IoT) applications, where its transmission range of about four inches (10 centimeters) makes NFC ideal for a variety of near-body network apps where such devices need to pass information back and forth and coordinate activities.

    The barrier to widespread application is that NFC has had to overcome the lack of adequate security for its various transaction modalities.

    In Version 1.0 of the SRTD spec, the mechanisms used for guaranteeing the security of messages using the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) were based on techniques similar to those used in most web browsers, where code signing techniques for securing a transaction are tied to internally create digital certificates, causing a host of security problems.

    According to Tony Rosati, NFC Forum Security Technical Working Group Chair, in the original specification signed NDEF records were used to prevent malicious use of NFC tags. So when a smartphone user taps NFC tags containing URLs, there was some protection against such things as phishing attacks that directed users to unsafe network locations. Theoretically, signing the NDEF record protected the integrity of the contents and allowed the user to identify the signer if they wish.

    However, the signature RTD mechanisms incorporated into the original specification contained vulnerabilities that permitted the content of signed NDEF records to be manipulated.

    According to Rosati, many of these concerns have been dealt with successfully in the Forum’s new Signature Record Type Definition RTD 2.0 spec. In the new version, the signing certificate mechanisms have been beefed up to prevent malicious use of NFC tags. This is done through the use of protected NDEF records that are assigned a certificate obtained from third party Certificate Authorities.

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackaday Dictionary: Near Field Communications (NFC)
    http://hackaday.com/2015/10/15/hackaday-dictionary-near-field-communications-nfc/

    NFC is a standard that allows two devices to exchange information over a short distance without being in physical contact. The two devices communicate using a weak magnetic field that, in theory, only has a range of a few centimeters, so both devices have to be physically close, and someone standing nearby can’t intercept or alter the signal.

    NFC transceivers are now being built into many mobile devices including the iPhone and iWatch, and the technology underlies touchless payment systems like Apple Pay and Android Pay. It has had a rocky evolution, though, going from toy-store curiosity to the mainstream of the mobile world. The technology evolved from the older Radio Frequency ID (RFID) system that was developed for making keys for electronic access systems. Unlike RFID systems, NFC communications can work both ways, and the devices can be written to.

    The first device to use an early version of NFC was a Star Wars toy from 1997, which used an early version of the technology called CommTech to give voice to the figures. You tap the chip on the player, and it plays the voice.

    The full NFC standard was defined in 2002, as ISO standard number 14443. Since then, the standards have been expanded by the NFC Forum, an industry group set up by the companies that use it.

    There are two sides to every conversation, and NFC is no different. This conversation has two modes: passive or active. In the passive mode, one device emits a rapidly alternating magnetic field. This is picked up by the other device, which is a passive device that just receives: it doesn’t emit a magnetic field. This effectively turns the two devices into an air-gap transformer, with induction causing a current to flow in the antenna of the passive device. By altering the resistance of the antenna, the passive device can modulate the field, signalling back to the active device. This doesn’t require a battery in the passive device

    In an active connection, both devices can emit a magnetic field, and they alternate between sending and receiving the magnetic field. This is typically used between two computers, or between two other battery-powered devices that want to exchange larger amounts of data.

    Either way, this magnetic field is alternating at a frequency of 13.56MHz, right in the unlicensed Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band, which means that there is no licence required to use.

    The data is sent using Amplitude Shift Keying with Manchester or Miller coding at a speed of 106, 212 or 426 kilobits per second, with each direction using a different speed. That way, data can be sent in both directions at the same time without colliding.

    In Peer-to-Peer, both devices are sending and receiving data.

    In Card Emulation, the device pretends to be a dumb, unpowered NFC card, even if it is a powerful cell phone.

    Reply
  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFC Tags Add Old-School Functionality to New Phone
    http://hackaday.com/2015/12/14/nfc-tags-add-old-school-functionality-to-new-phone/

    Back in the day, we had smartphones with physical buttons. Not just power, volume, and maybe another button on the front. Whole, slide-out QWERTY keyboards right on the underside of the phone. It was a lawless wasteland, but for those who yearn for the wild-west days of the late 2000s, [Liviu] has recreated the shortcut buttons that used to exist on the tops of these keyboards for modern-day smartphones.

    NFC shortcut button
    http://simpledevices.blogspot.ro/2015/11/nfc-shortcut-button.html

    There are several apps on google play that allow the write of NFC tags. Those app can write a link, a shortcut to a file, or a shortcut to an application to a NFC tag.
    The NFC technology works by power a small chip, which can store a few hundred of bytes of information, by radio frequency at 13.56 MHz.
    In order to red or write a tag, that tag must be at a small distance from the nfc anthenna.
    On smartphones the idea is to put the back of the phone on a tag and get the information from it or write it.
    I saw in this a possibility of bringing back the functionality of those old shortcut buttons, but for this i needed to modify the tag by cutting its anthenna and then add a button which, when pressed, reconnects the anthenna:

    I simply put the paper on the tag just to mask it. I can write any application i want on the tag, so if i am browsing the web and want to quickly check my email, i simply press on the tag button and i’m on the mail.

    Reply
  29. Derek says:

    I have an rfid chip I purchased from dangerousthings.com that I’m injecting in my hand for a news segment

    I’m Mac based and can’t program this chip myself. Want to program my name on the chip, and I’m looking for someone who could help this news segment/project

    Here’s the implantable rfid chip info

    13.56MHz ISO14443A & NFC Type 2 NTAG216 RFID chipset

    …any input/direction would be appreciated Thanks

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Interesting looking project:

    HydraNFC Shield
    https://hackaday.io/project/293-hydranfc-shield

    HydraNFC is an NFC hw shield to sniff/read/write/emulate any 13.56MHz NFC tags for anyone interested in advanced NFC research/dev/debug/hack

    This shield is mainly used with HydraBus (with full support in hydrafw) but can also be used with other MCU.
    The HydraNFC is less expensive, more powerful/extensible than Proxmark3 Hardware and does not requires an FPGA (with the help of HydraBus).

    Features of the HydraNFC Shield board:
    * Autonomous mode with 4 User buttons and 4 User LEDs.
    * Use HydraBus microSD card to save or load data (up to 32GB).
    * Use Texas Instrument TRF7970A NFC chipset.
    * External NFC antenna can read Mifare-One at up to 8cm (tested with 20cm cable with U.FL and SMA connector).

    HydraNFC is fully supported by open source HydraBus firmware hydrafw: https://github.com/bvernoux/hydrafw

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hacklet 117 – NFC Projects
    http://hackaday.com/2016/07/23/hacklet-117-nfc-projects/

    Near Field Communication (NFC) is something we take for granted these days. Nearly all smartphones have it. We even have NFC interfaces for all our favorite development boards. NFC’s history goes back all the way to 1997, when an early version was used in Star Wars special edition toys. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which NFC builds on, goes back even further. The patent citation trail leads all the way back to 1983 in a patent awarded to [Charles Walton]. NFC is much more than RFID though. The idea of two way communication between devices opens up tons of possibilities for projects and hacks. This week on the Hacklet we’re checking out some of the best NFC projects on Hackaday.io!

    Reply

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