Samsung launches retooled TecTile 2 NFC tags for Galaxy S4


Samsung Electronics is overhauling its Near Field Communications-enabled TecTile tag technology to address compatibility issues with its new Android-powered Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone.

Samsung first unveiled TecTiles in June 2012--the stickers may be programmed to automate device settings and functions like launching an app, joining a Wi-Fi network, silencing the phone when entering a meeting, setting an alarm or dimming the display at bedtime. Users program functionality via the TecTile app, available as a free download from the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront, then tap their smartphone against the tag to automatically trigger the desired function.

Android Police reports Samsung will introduce new tags to accommodate the Galaxy S4, which incorporates a Broadcom BCM2079x chip that does not support some types of NXP Semiconductors' MIFARE contactless and dual interface smart card schemes, including TecTiles, built with MIFARE Classic chips.

"Samsung is introducing TecTile 2, an update to the original TecTile NFC programmable tags, which will be available in the coming weeks," said Samsung. "TecTile 2 will use the current NFC technology on the market, allowing Samsung customers to further incorporate NFC into their daily lives and to use with the latest Samsung Mobile products and services, including the Galaxy S4. As industry standards continue to evolve, Samsung remains committed to meeting those standards and adapting its technologies if necessary. Samsung customers can also fully utilize TecTiles 2 with existing Samsung Mobile NFC-enabled Android smartphones currently in market."

Samsung sells programmable TecTile tags in packages of five priced at $14.99. The stickers are available directly from the manufacturer's website or in-store from AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA. Close to a dozen NFC-enabled Samsung smartphones support the original TecTile, including the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II.

Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 in mid-March. The smartphone features branded applications and services including Samsung Hub, Samsung WatchON, Samsung Apps, Samsung ChatON and Group Play. Last week, Samsung confirmed the device will ship without Knox, a security solution designed to make the manufacturer's phones more suitable for business users, in order to continue testing the software internally and with its carrier partners.

For more:
- read this Android Police article

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