Samsung TecTiles update adds more NFC options
Smartphone manufacturers are working to make near-field communication (NFC) technology a viable alternative to physical wallets (rather than an experiment in baffling retailers and annoying fellow customers), but Samsung is taking a different approach with its TecTile NFC stickers. On Wednesday the company rolled out an update to the TecTile mobile app, which lets you customize the TecTiles with additional settings.
Samsung began exploring NFC in June with the programmable TecTile stickers, which come in packs of five and retail for $14.99. The company at the time said it was attempting to go beyond NFC payment technology, which is even today is still in early stages of adoption.
You can use TecTiles with any NFC-enabled Android phone (including the Galaxy and Nexus lines). Program the sticker using the TecTiles app in the Google Play Store, then tap your phone to the TecTile and it will perform its task (send a text, set an alarm, etc.).
Today’s update lets users program one TecTile to perform multiple actions when tapped. TecTiles can also now be used by multiple people. You can create a profile on your smartphone with one sticker that’s placed at, say, your office. You can program the TecTile to turn your phone on silent when you tap it, while another user can program the same sticker to turn their phone on vibrate when tapped. You can also lock down a TecTile if you don’t want anyone else using it or re-writing it.
Other upgrades rolled out today include tag history logs, so you can easily view which stickers have which functions attached to them, call forwarding, and integration with Google+.
Businesses can also use TecTiles to offer rewards or coupons for customers with NFC-enabled phones.