So I’ve been playing around with Apple ShortcutsExternal Link here lately, working on automation routines to try to help out with a few things. By the way, if you have ADHD, this may be something that can help… I’ve made some location-based routines to turn off lights and the TV when I leave the house, and then turn on a light when I get home, but that started me thinking about some things. With work from home during the pandemic, I’m still at home and thus inside the geofence, but I’ve got things I want to have happen, for example, when I sit at my desk to start working. I’ve made some buttons on the phone to kick off some of these, but half the time, I’m searching for the right icon to tap to start that process. So I had an idea… We just started a project at work to replace all of our door locks with the same kind of card access system, so that they’ll all work together and one card can be set to open any facility. That got me thinking. Modern phones all have NFC readers, so what would it take to setup a few small “tokens” to kick off a routine?

Looking in the Shortcuts app on the phone, there’s an option in the personal automations section to execute when they read an NFC tag. Ok, we’re getting closer, but how do these things work? I did a quick bit of research and found that what I’m looking for are Ntag215 Standard NFC tagsExternal Link. This standard is readable by both Android and iOS that have NFC readears. That’ll do what I want. But now the real question became how much would that cost to get these tags? They’ve got to be expensive, right? Not really… Amazon has them all over the place. I searched and grabbed this 50 packExternal Link of them for $15.99 USD (why go small when you can just test to your heart’s content?).

I live in an iOS ecosystem at home, so it’s pretty simple, and I’ll add another post later on how to setup automation based on Apple’s Shortcuts app, but you can do a very similar process in Google’s Home app. Either way, it’s becoming a fun way to remember things (that ADHD thing again), like turning off lights when I leave. Hard to forget when there’s a tap-tag sitting right at eye level when I walk out the door. Either way, more to come as I start down this path…

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