How NFC tags save me time – Mashable

I refuse to have a smart home for many reasons, the most important of which is that I watched the Disney original movie Smart House as a child, and I won’t stand for a computerized house that imprisons me and tries to be my new mom. I am also lazy and frugal. But there’s one automation tool that I’ve recently added to my home that is easy to set up, not too invasive, and incredibly cheap. They’re called NFC tags, and they’re the best shortcut I’ve ever used to saving bits of time throughout my day.

What are NFC tags

At just a few cents a piece, NFC tags, or Near Field Communication tags, can add a ton of functionality to your home. You can buy them basically anywhere, including Amazon. They’re kind of like baby’s first smart home device, because you don’t have to have a smart home setup at all for them to work in your place.

Basically, NFC tags are little stickers, about the size of a quarter, with an itty bitty microchip on it. Mine are black, but you can get them in other colors, too. You can program any action to happen as soon as you tap your phone to the sticker. You can turn on and off lights or change the temperature of a room, if you already have the smart home setup. And even without a smart home set up, NFC tags can help you set timers, play music, and make your life run that much smoother.

What did I set them up to do?

  • I have one NFC tag on my desk, hidden next to a drawer, that sets an alarm for 15 minutes. Short, dedicated working time keeps me focused, and having an easy way to set that up has been wonderfully helpful.

  • One of my NFC tags sits on the edge of my bed, and I touch it at night to simultaneously turn on my Do Not Disturb and turn on an alarm. 

  • There’s a separate NFC tag on my nightstand that, when tapped, automatically sends a text to my partner telling them I’m going to sleep and that I love them.

  • I have an NFC tag on my makeup mirror that sends a text to my family group chat that reads: “Any babies want to FaceTime?” I like FaceTiming with my nieces and nephews while I do my makeup, because it’s just the right amount of time they can stand being on the phone, and it’s a great way to see them. But I don’t always have a free hand to text while I’m putting makeup on. This is one of my favorite ones.

  • I keep an NFC tag on my wallet, which sends my location to my best friend. Folks also put these in their cars, and it’s an easy step to make yourself feel a bit safer.

What makes them better than just doing the tasks any other way?

This is an excellent question, and one my roommate asked consistently as I covered our apartment with stickers. I didn’t have a good answer for her then, and I don’t have a good answer for you now. It comes down to your preferences. It might only save you a couple of clicks to use an NFC, and that might not be worth it for you! But, for me, …….



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