NFC tags are passive devices such as a card that can be used to communicate with active NFC devices (an active NFC reader/writer). The NFC tags can be used within applications such as posters, and other areas where small amounts of data can be stored and transferred to active NFC devices. Within the poster the live area can be used as a touch point for the active NFC device. NFC tags communicate using the ISO 14443 type A and B wireless standards, which is the ISO standard for contact-less smartcards, used on many public transportation systems. This is why NFC devices can be used with existing contact-less technologies, such as card payment points.

There are a range of different tag types available, each offering different storage levels and transfer speeds. Tag types 1 and 2 come with capacities between just a tiny 48 bytes and 2 kilobytes of data, and can transmit that information at just 106 kbit/s. Although that may sound quite small, especially compared to your typical SD card, that’s enough data for some very simple pieces of information, such as a website URL, and is all you need for most basic NFC tags. These tags are designed to be highly cost effective, and can also be re-used if you want to change the data stored on them.

Type 3 uses a different Sony Felica standard, and can transfer data at a slightly faster 212 kbit/s. These tend to be used for more complicated applications, but sadly can’t be rewritten. Similarly, type 4 is again read-only, but has a larger memory capacity of up to 32 kbytes and communication speeds of between 106 kbit/s and the maximum NFC 424 kbit/s. Tag type 4 works with both type A and B of the ISO14443 standard.

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