Finishing up with NFC

NFC Tap to Donate

So I finish my foray into NFC with a flurry to the finish line with the last piece of integration I’d been working on – This was in effect to intelligently (not using smoke & mirrors & faking it) have a piece of digital signage update itself when an NFC tap action was triggered. To do this, I needed a media player plugged into the screen, and I got my hands on a BrightSign 4K112 and using Bright Author built a two scene interactive presentation with a timed transition.

That’s not quite what I wanted though. This has to be interactive after all!

So, a custom event maybe with a USB trigger. So plugging the DTAG100 module into the BrightSign I had to work out how to read back via the DTAG module and transmit this across its HID compliant keyboard interface. If I could do that, then in the Bright Author presentation I could specify the same string and use it as a simulated simple keyboard action to change the scene.


It should be noted there’s a whole heap of interaction options with Bright Author, from button boards to HID compliant USB devices, keyboards, mice, the works. I played around with a bit of help from both BrightSign & Dot. Origin to finally get it all working with the following configuration.

On the DTAG module, I had to switch on read & write activity to the log file & to configure the output of the NFC read to be transmitted as NDEF data across the keyboard port.

This triggers the log file output to capture the read & write events. Because all I wanted to do was use the same trigger every time, I configured my tag data configuration to transmit the character ‘A’ on each NFC tap.

Multiple actions triggered on the NFC tap meant both a writeback could be achieved whilst at the same time publishing a URL. Fantastic!


In Bright Author, I used a keyboard trigger, specifying the same string ‘A’ so in effect, it waits for this input. Tap the NFC tag, the NFC outputs its intended action (which tell’s the phone what to do) but then accepts the string from the keyboard and changes the scene.

You can read here how the payment gateway would work but this in effect, legitimately is a fully working tap to donate system. Build in the tag infrastructure into the hardware (which I’ve done but is a bit secret at the minute) and you have a very powerful system which starts to bring multiple digital sources together.

I’m going to pause with NFC whilst I wait for Apple to pull their little socks up and unlock NFC for iPhone. But rest assured I have a pocket full of special sauce ready when that happens.

2 thoughts on “Finishing up with NFC

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