Muse Blocks bringing NFC back - review ~ Android Coliseum

Muse Blocks bringing NFC back - review

Okay, this is so wrong, and I believe I'm going to lose all my Android geek cred here.  But ... it was because of these that I found out that I hadn't turned on NFC on the Pixel when I got it.

To be honest, I'm not sure when the last time I actually used NFC.  eep

Well, maybe a product like Muse Blocks will help change that.  I've got a ton of tags sitting in a drawer somewhere that could be used.

I'm thinking the problem with the older tags, and this is where Muse Blocks tries to fix is the fact that they looked very ... 'technical'.  Something utilitarian and not something that my mom would adopt to use.

The idea, as we eluded to a while back, was that they are 'fancy tags'.  Something with a piece of art on them.  Something that looks like it fits in with your decor (or you can get your own image put on them).

I went and had them make up these for me:


Now, don't those look snazzy?  A 3 pack of their art is $24CDN, or $32CDN for your own customized.


But now what?  What can we do with these tags? 

The big sell they are pushing on their site is that it can be used as that 'trigger' for a music playlist (remember the articles I had written a long time ago about utilizing NFC - it's a good read if you are only finding out about 'near field communication' now).

These tags essentially, when sensed by the phone, get your phone to trigger a specific action.  It could load up a playlist of music, make your phone turn off a light ... depending on the app you're using you can have it do a lot of things.

For mine, I set it up to have the URL for the website on it, so when someone scans it, the phone recognizes it's a website and takes you there.

With Android and some iPhones you have the ability to get a bunch of different apps to help write what you want to put on the tag, or how your phone will react to what's written on there.

You can make it as complicated as you'd like, incorporating TagStand, or IFTTT ... plenty to play with.  Just if you make a 'custom recipe', know that only your phone would know how to do what needs doing. Another device would need to have the same instructions to act the same way.


They're a good size, not too small (like the normal tags, easily lost), and not too big. 

Wish there was something to help mount them on the wall.  I was thinking there might be an adhesive or something, but no. 

You can get their 'sets' and it'll include a wall mounting 'bar'.  That's an extra $60 (or $180 depending on the bar).

But, like I found out, you still need to make sure your phone's NFC setting is turned on.

With Android, you just turn it on and it's good.  With iPhones, some of them (like the more recent) will be able to background read.  My iPhone 8, I have to download an appropriate NFC reader ... so kinda defeats the 'automated process' feel of it.

And the iOS list of NFC apps is pretty minimal...

Anyways, now I just need to figure out what I want to do with these?  Have them on my door to my office?  Reprogram them for a workout setting (bluetooth to a headset, load up fit...) and hang it in my locker...

How have you incorporated NFC?
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