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Samsung Announces TecTiles, Brings Programmable NFC Tags to the Masses


Tonight, Samsung announced their newest non-hardware creation called TecTiles. These are programmable NFC tags that will be available through major carriers at the launch of the Galaxy SIII. Their goal with TecTiles is to help NFC reach the masses and become a part of our everyday lives. Since the GS3, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Galaxy SII (some models), HTC One X and so many other devices all have NFC chips inside, this should be simple, right? 

If you are not familiar with NFC stickers like these, I’ll do my best to explain them. With an NFC sticker like TecTiles, one can program it to accomplish a single task that under normal circumstances would take more than a few seconds of your time. For example, you could program a TecTile (using your NFC phone to program it) to toggle WiFi on and off. Assuming you have an NFC-enabled phone, all you would have to do is touch your phone to this sticker and it should toggle your WiFi. A restaurant owner could place one inside the door of the building so that customers with NFC phones could quickly tap the sticker and check-in through Foursquare. You could place one of these stickers on your desk and have it automatically send a text to your wife that read, “Hi Honey, on my way home from work!” as you leave work. The possibilities are sort of endless if you think about it. You could launch an app with a programmable NFC sticker, post a Facebook update, open a webpage or even send a Tweet.

TecTiles specifically will be available for $14.99 for a pack of 5, again, at all major U.S. carriers. The TecTiles app that helps you program these as many times as you’d like, is available in the Google Play store.

Here is a link to the TecTile site.

Are you ready for mass NFC adoption? I sure am.



Samsung Mobile Puts All The Pieces in Place to Bring NFC To The Masses

Inexpensive, easy to use Samsung TecTiles™ Programmable NFC Tags can be customized to launch apps, send text messages, share contact information, change phone settings and more, with an NFC-enabled Galaxy smartphone

 DALLAS — June 13, 2012 — Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) is helping consumers realize the potential of NFC technology today with the creation of Samsung TecTiles™ and the TecTile™ programming application. With the largest user base of NFC-enabled devices in the United States and TecTiles available in all four major carrier stores and at major online retailers at the launch of the Galaxy S III, Samsung is ensuring NFC becomes a part of daily life.

With a simple tap of an NFC-enabled phone to a TecTile, consumers are able to automate everyday functions of a smartphone including sending a “headed/at home” text message, silencing the phone when entering a meeting, setting an alarm, and dimming the display when going to bed.

Samsung TecTiles will transform how businesses large and small engage with consumers. On premise, TecTiles enable consumers to check-in on Facebook® or foursquare®, connect to Wi-Fi® or download content. Off-premise, businesses can use TecTiles as a way to market to and engage with consumers by enabling reward programs and to download discount offers or content.

“With millions of NFC-enabled Samsung Galaxy smartphones currently in the market and the arrival of our flagship device Galaxy S® III, Samsung saw an opportunity to expand the value of NFC beyond mobile payments,” said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Telecommunications America, the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S. and worldwide-. “The launch of Samsung TecTiles is another example of Samsung’s ability to innovate new products and applications that improve the way we use our mobile devices for everyday tasks.”

Samsung TecTiles are easy to program with any NFC-enabled smartphone and the free application, which can be found in the Google Play™ marketplace. TecTiles can be reprogrammed as often as needed to complete any of the following functions on an NFC-enabled phone:

 Settings & Applications

  • Change phone settings (Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi, ringer/media volume, screen brightness, etc.)
  • Launch an application
  • Join a Wi-Fi Network
  • Show a message


  • Make a call
  • Send a text message
  • Start a Google Talk™ conversation
  • Share a contact or business card

Location & Web

  • Show an address on a map
  • Open a web page
  • Foursquare or Facebook check-in


  • Automatic Facebook “Like”
  • Update Facebook status
  • Post a tweet or follow a contact on Twitter
  • Connect on LinkedIn®

 Samsung NFC-Enabled Android TM Smartphones

  • Samsung Galaxy S® III on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon
  • Samsung Galaxy S® II on T-Mobile
  • Galaxy Nexus TM on Verizon, Sprint and GSM Unlocked
  • Nexus TM S ® 4G on Sprint
  • Samsung Galaxy S® Blaze ® 4G on T-Mobile


Priced at $14.99 for a pack of five, TecTiles programmable NFC sticker tags are now available for purchase online and in-store at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The Samsung TecTiles app is now available for download at the Google Play store.

© Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC.  Samsung, Galaxy, Galaxy S, and TecTiles are all trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Android and Nexus are trademarks of Google Inc.  All other company names, product names and marks are the property of their respective owners and may be trademarks or registered trademarks. 

Links for more information:

About Samsung Telecommunications America

Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, a Dallas-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., researches, develops and markets wireless handsets and telecommunications products throughout North America. For more information, please visit www.samsungwireless.com.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2011 consolidated sales of US$143.1 billion. Employing approximately 206,000 people in 197 offices across 72 countries, the company operates two separate organizations to coordinate its nine independent business units: Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and LED. Recognized for its industry-leading performance across a range of economic, environmental and social criteria, Samsung Electronics was named the world’s most sustainable technology company in the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.

  • zulu208

    Will the tectiles app work with TagStand’s NFC tag I purchased a while ago?

  • I picture a world of the future where people enter a conference room and touch their phone to the door frame to silence their ringers. Someone unaccustomed to NFC will think the company is all Jewish… (i.e., the TecTile is like the digital Mezuzah)

  • BRM

    For everyone posting about tagstand’s tags being cheaper, note that most of the tags in their “Hobbyist Set” only hold very small amounts of data.

  • David Lutz

    I’m curious to see if these can be programmed to act like toggle switches. For example, I’d like to have one in my car; when I get in to go to work, scan to activate bluetooth, gps, launch an audio app and maybe gmaps. When I get to work, scan again to kill bluetooth, gps and close out of same apps. I suppose you could always have two separate tiles to accomplish the same thing, but having a single tile that could accomplish both would obviously be more convenient. This could probably be done using Tasker, but wondering if it could be done by itself with no extra addon programs required.

  • Flat_Stanley

    Does your phone have to be on and unlocked (i.e. not at the lock screen) for NFC tags to be read? I heard that was the case previously

  • possomcrast1

    Imagine if companies put these on their counter with all their contact info. Instead of business cards you just swipe your phone over a labeled area on the counter and your phone instantly has all the contact info of that business. This could be a big help to businesses especially when all phones eventually adopt NFC.

  • frankandsimple

    I see a lawsuit on the horizon. The radius of the chamfered corners match the exact radius of the chamfer in iphones.

  • SchwannyT

    Hey can someone give me some technical info about these.
    1) Does the NFC card store a command or just an ID (like an RFID tag)?
    2) Is the command it stores an operating system command or an app command?

  • ombra412

    Tonight, Samsung announced their newest non-hardware creation called TecTiles.

    Technically, this is hardware.

  • baldypal

    The social widgets don’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Program a tag to like or share the same URL every time? Update the same status or just open Facebook status box? Too simple. Also, follow the same twitter user?

    Am I missing something on those specific ones. Those tasks seem redundant when they shouldn’t be or too simple to program a tag.

    • Imagine going to a book signing and the author has an NFC tag with their Twitter account. Everyone who taps their phone could follow them.

      • JoshGroff

        Or alternatively at a concert you can follow a band’s FB or Twitter account with a simple pass, I guess that’s kinda neat. Still think NFC is too niche.

      • baldypal

        ok. i can see that. i was looking at it from a selfish perspective. not a personal promotion persective. why would i want to program a tag for ME to use on a daily basis to follow some one. i see it your way to.

  • steveliv

    what should i buy at tagstand that would not require me to program the tags?

    They have three options: blank which is obvious, and tagmanager and ndef which is not.

  • br_hermon

    Kudos to Samsung for pushing technology but what a RIPOFF!! There’s no way anyone should pay that price when you can get them for basically 1.25 at tagstand. Let’s hope they don’t change their prices because Samsung gets away with it.

    • This from a company that charges $90 for a car dock…

  • i am excited….i never got around to buying them from tagstand especially since i have tasker working pretty well right now. I may pick some up when i go into a verizon store…..they would be $12 with my discount.

  • Kevin Matthews

    sticking one to a generic car dock to get it to launch my car home app…

    • Andrew

      You can combine with Tasker to make the car talk to you and do other really cool things

      • Tristan Cunha

        Do you have any good suggestions for stuff to try? I just started fooling around with Tasker, and also happened to order some of these today too.

    • So is this possible? I have a Nissan Xterra with a security system I’d like to put one on the vehicle to unlock the door when I pass over it. Thanks in adnvance for a reply.

  • Sp4rxx

    “…will be available for $14.99 for a pack of 5, again, at all major U.S. carriers…”

    In other words, the carriers will buy them from Samsung and turn a profit by selling them for $30 to the consumer ….

    • huh? they will be 14.99 to the consumer (us)…there will still be a profit for all parties involved….excluding the purchaser.

  • Rob

    Whoa, I never thought about NFC like this. Pretty frickin’ sweet!

  • wickets

    thanks….looks useful

  • Sonicmax2k2

    It’s pretty clear to me that the odds of Droid-Life, Engadget and Gizmodo all posting an article at this late hour on the same product are slim to none unless there was outside involvement. I don’t have a problem with Droid-Life having sponsored articles (in fact, anything that supports you guys I’m pretty much always in favor of) but some transparency would be appreciated. I take your opinions and your reviews very seriously, and it matters to me if the article or review stems from being paid to have it here.

    Again, just let us know, feel free to keep doing it since you guys work hard and deserve the $$$, just don’t sell your transparency 🙂

    • MrWolf

      Dude, it’s a press release.

  • samsucks

    typical. big company copies the little one. tagstand.com sells tags for less — and their app nfctasklauncher is more powerful.

    • SeanBello

      the only thing (I think) that the TecTile app doesn’t do is Tasker integration, but the UI is better and it’s free

      • Andrew

        No tasker integration is a huge difference. Tasker is extremely powerful.

  • Shane

    I bought 10 tags about 6 months ago… they are an awesome idea with almost nothing to do with them after you buy them. Make sure you have a good idea of what you will use them for before buying. I have 1 to set my alarm near my bed and 1 in my car to turn off wifi and bluetooth on. Could not find any other uses…

    • Andrew

      I use them to launch car dock, toggle gps, etc in car. Silence media and ringer at my desk at work. One by my door at home that turns ringers on and connects to wifi… Most of mine revolve around toggling settings for me only since most people I know don’t have NFC in their iPhones.

    • sk3litor

      I agree. You’d have to have a super routine life. The more routine the more use I think.

  • ChuckDz3

    I’m happy to see NFC taking off. This is such a great concept. I would love to see these implemented all over, for coupons, check-ins, personal settings, the options really are endless.

    Quick note.. seems like the the TecTile app only works with Samsung’s tags? hmmm not sure if I like that since there are PLENTY of resources out there for NFC tags.

  • Rob Becker

    Cheaper Nfc tags are available through tagstand. But bravo for informing people. I want NFC everywhere yesterday.

  • Curious

    Just a quick question as I’m unfamiliar with the totality of NFC tag technology, if you leave these open for multiple rewrites, are they open to anyone to rewrite? Can you pin lock them? Are they only rewriteable using the first device that wrote to them originally? I’m guessing anyone can read from them. Also, could someone then go into a store and use their phone to write and lock all of the tags? Would they have to be kept in the backroom for safe keeping to prevent something like that? I suppose the packaging could be shielded.

    • Some types of tags may be locked against rewriting, the app should give you the option to write protect them.

  • how would you program these tags ? through your phone or PC and if through your phone would it only work on the Samsung Galaxy SIII or would my Galaxy nexus be able to program these ?

    • Any phone with NFC on it that is enabled can do it.

    • Any phone with NFC should be able to program them.

      • ChuckDz3

        But it looks like that app only programs their own Samsung tags.

        • Someone else in the comments tested the Samsung app with tagstand tags and it worked.

    • Through your phone. You tell the app what you want the TecTile to do, and then touch your phone to the TecTile and it programs it.

  • MikeCiggy

    Ok so you need the app to program the tiles but can a friend who doesn’t have the app still use the sticker to obtain the command. That’s the current problem with the stickers I have that use tasker to actually work. My friends cant use them because they don’t have the application. The receiving end of TecTile tags should be built directly into ICS and you should only need to purchase the app or stickers if you want to make your own.

    If everyone could use every tag it would open a world of possibilities for advertisers and so many other applications.

    -Walk into store
    -Touch phone to tag on door
    -Receive todays daily deal coupon to cashier

    Easy as that for regular users, not only the phone nerds like me.

    • No, the app must be installed for it to work. Just tested it. Even when just turning bluetooth on it launches the app first.

      • MikeCiggy

        dum. I hope Google realizes the potential of these things and bakes the receiving end into JellyBean and charges only if you want to program your own.

      • pezjono

        So then the statement ”
        A restaurant owner could place one inside the door of the building so that customers with NFC phones could quickly tap the sticker and check-in through Foursquare.” is false unless it is implied each customer has the app and has programmed that particular tag to launch Foursquare whenever they scan it with their phone? Seems a little lame to me…

        • Shawn Phelps

          You are partially correct. Yes, the consumer would need the app. No, the consumer would not program anything. The tag is programmed to launch foursquare. The app understands that this is what the tag is intended to do and does it.

          • pezjono

            Thanks for the clarification!

  • I bought 5 regular NFC chips online to use with NFC task launcher. This app works on those too for anyone that was curious. Just tested it

    • SeanBello

      awesome…glad I wasted money lol this looks like it might be easier to use too

  • SeanBello

    a) that’s grossly expensive for 5 tags. tagsfordroid.com you get 10 for 14.99.
    b) does the app only write tags for TecTiles or any NFC tag? I just paid for NFC Task Launcher, dammit.

  • I like
    http://www.tagstand.com/ myself for tags. 15 tags for $15… The NFC Task Launcher app costs a few bucks but you can use it to launch Tasker tasks.

    • r0lct

      If I understand this correctly the Samsung tags are being programmed and storing the command for the next phone to read. This would make it on par with the “NFC TASK LAUNCHER” tags which are $13.50 for 6, plus $2 for the app, so $15.50 for 6. So not a big price difference.

      The Tasker part adds a lot of value, but so does being able to use the same tag with multiple devices without having to program the tag for each device specifically (not including then programming tasker on each device).

  • Realistic87

    sounds good, I’ll be in for a pack