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Fun and Games with NFC chips

If you've been following my various posts on Instagram and Twitter, you've probably noticed by now that I am involved in a collaborative Storytelling experiment called Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of things.

We're at the halfway point, heading into our beta test this coming week-end at the Lincoln Center during the New York Film Festival. Participants will be trying to solve a crime scene that we've created at the Lincoln Center, while we (the "killers") will be interacting with them via Periscope from countries all over the world. I'll write more details on the final event in another blog post, but for the moment I want to talk a bit about NFC chips.

"What in the world are NFC chips?" You ask... The very same question I asked myself when I first found out that participants in our event would be using them to discover clues. So I went online and explored. Long story short, if you live in Paris, NFC technology (Near Field Communication) is what we use every day with our Navigo passes to take the Metro. Then I read that you could make these "tags" very easily on your own and a link led me to... Amazon! Who knew?! Order now? Oh yeah!

A week later, I just got my "whiztags" in the mail. It turns out that the company is in Australia and although they weren't expensive on Amazon, it probably would have been even cheaper to order directly from the company itself... http://www.whiztags.com/

As advertised, it only took me about 1.5 minutes to set up my first tag - I have it open my favourite app when I put my phone in my google cardboard. I just did the second one to turn off my wifi and bluetooth when I leave the house, and turn them back on when I come home. I also have a tag for my keychain where I can hold my virtual calling card with all my contact info.Yes, gadget. Yes, gimmick. But fun! (Note: Almost all new Android smartphones are enabled with NFC, only Iphone 6 and on are enabled. Look here to see if yours is enabled.)

My next expected delivery (in about 2 weeks) is an NFC connected ring. Even more gimmicky!

There are lots of videos out there about what it can do, but my favourite is this one (Japanese). Yes, if you use the ring right, you can even find yourself a wife!