Muse Blocks - fancy NFC tags

Do you remember NFC tags?  I used to love them.  I had written a bunch of articles on them in the past like this one on Tagstand.

Haven't heard much from NFC in a while, and I've even heard that Android might get rid of "beaming" even though I use it a fair bit (just like Google, killing off the things I love).

Until today, I had this come across my desk.  Muse Blocks, essentially artfully crafted little bits of wood/plaques that have the NFC tag built into it. 

Then with their app, that a scan of that tag will help trigger a playlist, or video or... well, with NFC and different apps you can make it do anything.

It's cool, the price they say should be $24/block... which is a pretty pricy NFC tag.  I dunno about you, art or no art (and if you want your own art, that's an extra $8), that's still pricy and way easier for me to just say "Hey Google".

Senic Says Goodbye to Scrolling, Hello to Beautifully Simple Content Enjoyment with Launch Of Muse Blocks
Berlin, Germany (November 7th, 2019) - In the age of streaming, scrolling through apps on a quest to track down the perfect music or movie is a nerve wracking, time consuming and distracting experience. With its new product Muse Block, Berlin-based smart home startup Senic is delivering you a beautifully simple way to enjoy your favorite content. Muse Block combines visual artwork and your favorite music into a convenient digital lifestyle product that seamlessly fits your home’s aesthetic. Simply hold your phone up to one of the Muse Blocks and your favorite playlist, movie or smart home scene will open automatically - without any need for endless scrolling through lists and unnecessary time stuck to the phone.
Essentially, Muse Blocks are 2.7”x 2.7” tiles of “Smart Art” that utilize NFC technology - a tiny, battery-free chip - to store your favorite digital content. Your phone has a sensor that can scan this chip as soon as you hold it within a few centimeters of one of the blocks, triggering your saved content - a favorite Spotify playlist, Netflix movie, or an entire Apple Music album. While NFC technology has been around for years, the mass adoption of mobile payment services like Android and Apple Pay and the latest release of iOS 13 have embraced the use of NFC, making it a convenient and useful emerging technology solution. Similar to how physical prints and photos have been on the rise for years, we can see that there is still a growing need and value for simple and useful physical objects along digital experiences in a distracting and overwhelming digital age. In a way, Senic is defining the new physical media for digital innovation.
Muse Blocks are initially designed to be used for the latest iPhones Xs, Xs Max, Xr, 11 and 11 Pro as these phones offer NFC background reading and modern Android phones with NFC technology. Using Senic’s free iOS App, users can decide and change what content is saved on one of the blocks. An Android version of the app to change content will follow in a few weeks. The leading use case for Muse Blocks initially is the usage with your favorite music apps like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal or Soundcloud but Muse Blocks can also be used for other use cases such as Apple Homekit Scene control, Lighting control or your Netflix collection.
The 7x7 cm blocks are manufactured by Senic’s team in their design studio in Berlin and are now available through Users can initially choose from 20 different images (e.g. Home, Good morning, workout) for 5 USD per Muse Block or create blocks with custom images for 8 USD. An integrated piece of metal inside the blocks allows users to mount the blocks to a magnetic bar made from wood to turn their collection into a piece of art on the wall. The ‘Art Set’ with one bar and 7 blocks is currently available for a discounted, introductory price of 69 USD for 1 week. Senic has already announced several new software features and accessories for the coming months.