If you haven’t noticed, we at Field ID are phone geeks. When someone gets a new handheld in the office, we all play around with it. One of our software developers, Kumana, recently picked up the Samsung Galaxy S II.
As we were talking about it and testing it out, we remembered that it has Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities. And NFC means it works with RFID – the same standard technology that our customers use every day to track safety compliance for millions of assets.
Naturally, we were running around scanning slings and harnesses around the office with Kumana’s phone, having some fun with features, and exploring how this would complement our inspection software.
Why didn’t we try this before?
We’ve written about NFC being the same technology that we use for RFID tags in fall protection equipment in the past. So, what’s changed? Well, it was only last week that we actually fired up an NFC scanner and tested the tags. We headed to the Android Market in search of an NFC test application. We tried three of them, but it wasn’t working. Then, after waving the tag around trying to find the antenna…
“I think it worked!”
I was at my desk and Kumana sent me an instant message: “It worked!” I ran over and, sure enough, it was scanning one of our test tags. With any RFID reader, you need to find the sweet spot in the antenna to scan. The first tag was easy though; it was a sticker tag. We thought, “No way will this scan the tags embedded metal.” Sure enough, we scanned the metal tags too.
More testing, to be sure
Before we can absolutely certify that this use of NFC will work with Field ID (reliably, in the field), we need to do some more testing. We’re hard at work on the Android and iOS Field ID applications right now, so this random test came at the right time. It’s very exciting to uncover details like these.
Think about it. With many new NFC-enabled phones coming to market, we can harness the scanners on these devices to make Field ID even more powerful. Anyone will be able to put the power of electronic inspection management and safety compliance into the palm of their hand, and carry it conveniently in their pocket as they head into the field.
Stay tuned for more NFC testing in the New Year!