NFC's a curious thing. That once heavily buzzed about feature's found a home in many of the handsets that occupy Android's swiftly rotating throne, but eager users wielding those enabled devices haven't been given much to do with it. Visa's payWave aside, Samsung's finally cooked up a means of making the near field tech a more integrated and efficient aspect of our modern lives — well, the lives of other Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II (T-Mobile only), Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S 4G and Galaxy S Blaze 4G owners, to be precise. Enter: TecTiles. In tandem with its flagship's impending US launch, the company's going to be offering packs of branded NFC stickers at retail that can be programmed with useful actions and placed wherever adhesive is welcome.
Need to set up a seamless Foursquare check-in for your place of business, leave a message on the fridge for members of your family, effortlessly transfer your contact info or even silence your phone automatically at a meeting? That's where Sammy's stickers come in handy, sidestepping the multitude of taps it normally takes to enter data or navigate a mobile UI with a simple close encounter of the NFC kind. If the implementation sounds eerily familiar, that's because you may have seen it before in the form of Smart Tags— Sony's own spin on the communication tech.
As you might imagine, there's an app to manage each individual TecTile's settings that will be made available after an initial pairing.
And, according to one of the company's reps, each unlocked sticker can be programmed up to 100,000 times, a high enough ceiling that should get you plenty of mileage, glue willing. Naturally, there's a limit to this initial rollout's NFC-love and that's where things could get pricey, given that each TecTile can currently carry only one function at a time.
Plans are underway, however, to expand beyond this limitation by enabling multi-functions in future iterations of the tacky tech — whenever version 2.0 touches down. For now, though, you'll have to make frugal use of the stickers, considering they'll be marked at $15 for a pack of five.
So, if you're still standing undecided on a Galaxy S III purchase despite its litany of capabilities, then this long-overdue feature could very well prove to be the wallet-tipping point.
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