Samsung TecTiles NFC stickers control your phone with a tap

Samsung TecTiles are NFC stickers let you perform any task on your Android phone by simply waving it at a sticker.

Stick'em up! Samsung has unveiled a very cool accessory for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and other Android phones: TecTiles NFC stickers, which let you perform any task on your Android blower by simply waving it at a sticker.

TecTiles are small square stickers that talk to your phone just by tapping the two together. Program the sticker with a specific job using a free Android app, and you can launch apps, change loads of settings in one go, or even call a preset number just by tapping your phone on the sticker.

And the tags don't just work with the tasks you program: if you tap your phone on someone else's sticker, you'll quickly access the task they've set up. For example, our CNET colleagues in the US first encountered a TecTile attached to a Samsung exec's business card -- pictured above. Tapping phone to card downloaded all the Samsung wonk's contact details straight to the phone. Click here for our full hands-on play with TecTiles .

Social network check-ins are also supported, so shops, bars or other attractions could place a sticker by the door for you to tap as you walk in, announcing to your online buddies that you've arrived. TecTiles work with other NFC phones too.

Samsung isn't the first to introduce NFC tags. New Xperia phones such as the Sony Xperia S can talk to Sony Smart Tags , little plastic discs you place around your life ready to quickly fire up pre-set tasks or change your phone's settings in one go -- you can stick one in your car, for example, and as soon as you drop your Xperia on your dashboard it could switch off Wi-Fi, divert all calls to voicemail and fire up a sat-nav app.

Samsung is into NFC in a big way. The technology can also be used to talk to specially equipped tills to pay for stuff, like contactless credit cards. There aren't many tills set up with NFC just yet, but during the London 2012 Olympics this summer Samsung and Visa are pushing no-touch payments hard , with much of the Olympic site kitted out for paying for stuff with your phone, and every athlete issued their own S3 to do just that.

Barclaycard also has NFC stickers, but Barclaycard PayTag is specifically designed for paying for things. The sticker can be attached to anything, turning your phone, wallet or the back of your hand into a credit card.

In the US, a pack of five stickers costs $14 (£9). I've contacted Samsung for more information on when TecTiles are coming to the UK, and we'll keep you posted when we know more. Where would you stick your TecTiles, and what would you program a phone to do when it met one? Tell me where to stick it in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Phones
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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