Samsung recently introduced TecTiles which happens to be programmable NFC tags that can be used to automate actions on NFC-enabled Android devices. Samsung intends to increase the user interest in NFC with this move. Samsung plans on selling these tags in packs of five, which would be sold online as well as via major carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Price per tag would be $15. The Android app that would be used to program the TecTiles would be available from Google Play for free.
According to the president of Samsung Telecommunications America, Dale Sohn, Samsung intends to expand the popularity and value of NFC beyond mobile payments. Samsung also believes that TecTiles can considerably influence the way businesses interact with the customers. Besides, marketing and social networking would also be enhanced since these TecTiles could be programmed to send a text message, load a Web page, launch an application, display a notification, or perform other tasks quite efficiently. Users would also be able to perform normal NFC functions with the help of these tags even if their mobile is mute in places such as cinema. For this purpose, cinemas would offer the TecTile tags to the customers by posting them on the walls of the theatre.
Other than various business and social networking related functions, TecTiles can also be used for personal convenience. For example, if you are about to sleep and don’t want anyone to interrupt your sleep, you can place a TecTile tag on the table beside the bed and alter the phone settling to make uninterrupted sleep possible. Besides, you can disable texting in your car with a single TecTile. Further, a TecTile tag in your office can facilitate access to the WiFi network of office.
Although similar tasks can be performed with the help of certain apps such as Automatelt and Tasker, performance of these tasks using the pre-programmed commands of TecTiles is much simpler and easier. However, TecTiles would only work with devices that are NFC-enabled. These devices include Samsung Galaxy S3 on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular or Verizon; Samsung Galaxy S2 on T-Mobile; Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, Sprint, and GSM Unlocked; Nexus S 4G on Sprint; and Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G on T-Mobile. So far, NFC support is not available on Apple devices but most probably it would be incorporated on iPhone 5.