Finding your phone's NFC Sweet Spot
About the author:
Jess Garland is a former IRATA Level 3 rope tech, she spent 9 years dangling from ropes on a wide variety of sites before hanging up her harness to start a family. She continues to use her practical experience from a keyboard with Scannable.
Scannable exists to make managing safety equipment easy. We know the pains of the Height Safety industry, and we're building the tools to make recording inspections and inventory management as fast and easy as possible.
One of these tools is our range of NFC tags for marking equipment, making each item phone-scannable using NFC technology (Near Field Communication). If you're wondering WTF is NFC and why we chose this technology, we talk about it in this blog.
We sent Jess on a mission to take the guesswork out of finding the NFC Sweet Spot for some of the most popular phones on the market at the moment.
The location of a phone's NFC antenna changes between phone brands, and between models. Finding the elusive sweet spot sometimes requires a bit of detective work…
A phone's NFC antenna is located on the back of the phone, but it can be anywhere: top, middle, or bottom. Finding your NFC “sweet spot” can be a case of trial and error as the location of the antenna is not usually indicated.
NFC tags also have antennas. The size of the antennas can determine how easy they are to scan - the bigger the antenna, the easier they will be to read.
Knowing the location of your phone's antenna, or NFC "sweet spot", makes reading our tags just that little bit easier - especially the small ones.
At the tap of a phone you can access your equipment’s history, manufacturer specs, documentation, and inspection records, which saves a lot of time when it comes to retrieving instruction manuals and logging Inspections.
A few things worth noting:
- iPhone models 7 and onwards are NFC enabled.
- Some android devices come with NFC turned off by default. If you’re rocking an android and can’t get NFC to work, have a look in your settings to see if NFC functionality is turned on.
- If you run with Samsung and your phone isn't on our list, check out the NFC support page on their website.
- If you are a Sony phone person, you might see an “N” logo on the back of your phone. This marks the exact location of the phone’s NFC antenna.
- There's a very short range in which the antennas can read, which means that you need to touch the NFC tag to the phone rather than scanning at a distance.
- Our tags can be read two ways: using our app, or "natively", which means that you can tap your phone against a tag without our app installed and you will see a notification to open your phone’s browser and review the unique URL/webpage that we host for each item of equipment. This makes it handy for people who don't have the app to check who owns gear, or when it was last inspected.
- When scanning a tag "natively", keep in mind that phones don’t continuously look for NFC tags, rather the phone checks periodically if there’s a nearby tag to read. This is inherent to the phone and not the tags, and the checking interval is different per phone make and model. This means that some phones might not read the tag as quickly as others, and so it can take a few moments for some phones to pick up the tag.
- It is also our experience that triggering the NFC reader with our app reads the tags faster and more consistently, so for the best experience of course we recommend users install our free app if they need to check many items of equipment's inspection history.
If we haven't covered your phone, take a look at the hardware diagram in your phone's user manual or quick-start guide. It'll point out where your phone's NFC antenna is located.
If you are not sure if your smartphone is NFC-enabled, this link may help you.
The location of a phone's NFC antenna changes between phone brands, and between models. Bigger tags are easier to scan than smaller tags. Knowing the location of your phone's NFC "sweet spot" helps you to read NFC tags easier. We've made this guide to make this easy for you. Check it out!