With the fame around NFC smart tags, it is easy for anyone to fall for a myth instead, mainly due to the jargon and misinformation around this topic. As if that is not enough, the market has multiple NFC products of varying sizes and shapes, and that is confusing buyers all the more. First off, NFC products use the near field communication technology to allow reading and writing on certain products.
But what must you consider when buying these NFC products?
An appropriate reader
You will require NFC readers in the first place. These can be mobile devices or PCs with unique NFC reading capabilities. The reader also comes with features to allow writing. Besides, you will need to ensure that the NFC tags you acquire are for the particular applications in which you are using this technology.
Chip on the Tags
The next step after getting a reader and tags will be to decide on the suitable chip to go on the tag. The chip is the building block of the tag. The chips in the market differ in features such as security details and memory. But the most important of these is the memory it supports. Higher memory capabilities in chips increase the cost and give better signal responses.
You should follow industry standards to ensure operability between NFC devices and tags. These standards define five major classifications namely type one to five. Each type of tag has its advantages and suitable applications. Therefore, when sourcing your tags explain your application to the supplier to help you with making the right choice. However, regardless of your choice, the tags should meet the compliance standard.
The Size and Shape of the Tags
Consider the place you will be placing the tag—the environmental conditions. Label and sticker NFC make the most common NFC tags. It is rare to find individuals moving these tags after sticking them; therefore, they are great for posters. Paper-based NFCs are ideal for indoor applications. Outdoor applications require sturdier materials such as PVC or film NFC tags. Such NFCs are water resistant, thus highly durable.
Since NFC tags can interfere with signal propagation from other applications, they are not ideal for use on metallic or electronic devices. Non-metal tags have an extra layer for protection from interference with electromagnetic waves. Cards and key chains also form ideal NFC tags for individuals who need light and easy-to-carry tags. These are small and can fit in a wallet or pocket.
Another element to consider when determining the size of your tag is the room to place your tag. The stickers on the NFC should lie flat on the surface. Any attempts to fold it bends the antenna, thus damaging the NFC. Also note that the bigger the NFC tag, the better the chance of scanning it. But, you can opt for a small tag if you want to hide the tag or make it less visible.
NFCs need a base software with which to encode the NFC smart tags to suit your application. Since there are numerous such applications, the respective software varies widely. It is your choice of application that will also dictate the size of data you can encode on the tag. With that, you can determine the right NFC chip for your application.