(Phys.org) -- Samsung has announced its introduction of stickers with embedded NFC chips, to be sold by major carriers in packs, so that NFC-enabled Samsung smartphones, with a tap against the sticker, can carry out tasks. Near field communication (NFC) has not taken off as dramatically as certain marketers hoped. Public perception is that it is a technology to be used primarily as a mobile payment system. Samsung believes a wider appreciation of NFC-everywhere can be got beyond mobile payments, and a few more Samsung phone sales can benefit as well.
With millions of NFC-enabled Samsung Galaxy smartphones currently in the market and the arrival of our flagship device Galaxy S III, Samsung saw an opportunity to expand the value of NFC beyond mobile payments, said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Telecommunications America, in announcing TecTiles Wednesday.
Samsung is issuing five-pack sets of TecTiles at $14.99 along with a free TecTiles app available on the Google Play store. The free Android app does the job of the actual programming
The NFC stickers can be programmed to automate numerous day to day functions. The idea is that the phone user can slap the stickers on to the car steering wheel or at the desk or on the fridge to launch apps or send messages, set alarms, or change settings. Examples include tapping a phone to a sticker on the refrigerator that sends a text message that the phone user is home. Another example is putting a TecTiles sticker on a business card so that others can tap into the persons contact details.
Major carriers are to sell the packs of TecTiles, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Samsung is making them available in the U.S. and they will be available in Europe at a later date.
According to Samsung, only phones that come equipped with NFC hardware can read the TecTiles. Most of the tag types you make will work on nearly all phones which have NFC hardware. A few types will only work on phones which have the Samsung TecTile application installed, according to the company. Samsung suggests the user verify that the phone is equipped with NFC technology and that NFC is turned on in the phone's settings. Also, the company site notes that TecTiles will not work near metal surfaces.
Explore further: What's next for the smartphone in a rapidly changing market?
More information: www.samsung.com/us/microsite/tectile/