FloJack Brings NFC To iPhone, iPad And iPod touch

A notable absentee in the past few Apple launches has been NFC, the technology hailed as the solution to all mobile payment problems. While Apple has its reasons to ignore the technology until it achieves critical mass, there are many folks who do require NFC and don’t want to switch to Android or Windows Phone.

A new Kickstarter project started by the folks at Flomio aims to make NFC on iOS a reality by means of a dongle that plugs into the headphone jack of iOS devices, just like Square.

The dongle, called FloJack, is a small circular device that packs in an NFC radio, which opens up a wide range of possibilities of interfacing with real world objects including other NFC smartphones. The dongle has an NFC reader as well as a writer, which means that not only can it read information off an NFC tag, but can also write information to it. NFC tags are the little bits of data attached to objects like posters, banners, menu cards which contain information like phone numbers or URLs.

The folks behind the project aren’t leaving it just at that, though. They’re also planning to release an entire SDK for iOS developers to utilise the NFC capabilities that the FloJack brings along in their own apps.

flojack

Using the writing ability of the dongle, you can program NFC tags to do various tasks like:

  • Opening a certain app
  • Give directions between places
  • Call a phone number
  • Connect to Wi-Fi without the manual hassles of selecting a network, entering a password etc.
  • Check into Foursquare

Additionally, you can also exchange data between two NFC enabled devices, opening up possibilities to exchange contacts, sync configurations and do a lot of other things. There’s of course the payment angle as well, where an NFC enabled device can replace a normal credit card.

Here’s a video Flomio made to introduce the project:

The FloJack is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, all iPads and the 4th and 5th gen iPod touch. Flomio also made a case with similar functionality for the iPhone, for people who’d like to avoid the dongle.

flocase

The project’s funding round closes on Monday, 11:59pm EST. It’s just $4000 away from its goal of $80,000. The FloJack is priced at $49 and comes with 5 configurable NFC tags. You can head over to the Kickstarter page to know more about the project.

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  • pakaku

    Woah, who the heck designed that case?

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    fake ! can’t believe there s a analog signal jack doing digital signal work. marc

  • http://www.facebook.com/DigitalXtremePro Michael Lawrence

    Yeah, I’m going to pull out that FloJack and stick it in my phone, instead of just using my card. Seems kind of pointless. Plus I still think having that chip and my info on it a little of a security risk.

    • Kiwiholden

      It has a far lower risk then just having your card in your pocket because it has to be plugged in and only works when you have logged into a app and then most likely needs you to pick the task and approve it.
      Where as some one with a reader can just tap your bum and use your credit card.

      Too many ignorant people scared of want they don’t understand.
      And I don’t know about you but my bank has an 100% money back if any money is stolen out of my bank

      • http://www.facebook.com/DigitalXtremePro Michael Lawrence

        First of all your ignorant comment was way out of line. Second, I really don’t think you can speak with any certainty on the guaranteed safety level involved with NFC chips unless you are an expert in this area. I was merely pointing out the I don’t see how buying this extra devise to carry around and insert in my phone each time to make a purchase is better than just using a card. Keeping a card in wallet is easier to keep up with than keeping this bulky piece of extra equipment. Maybe I did not word it properly for your tastes, but no need to resort to childish name calling for having an opposing opinion.

        • bcsc

          Childish name calling? Ignorant means “not knowing”, so he is literally correct to use the term ignorant. Kind of how you are ignorant to the meaning of it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DigitalXtremePro Michael Lawrence

        First of all your ignorant comment was way out of line. Second, I really don’t think you can speak with any certainty on the guaranteed safety level involved with NFC chips unless you are an expert in the area. I was merely pointing out the I don’t see how buying this extra devise to carry around and insert in my phone each time to make a purchase is better than just using a card. Keeping a card in wallet is easier to keep up with than keeping this bulky piece of extra equipment. Maybe I did not word it properly for your tastes, but no need to resort to childish name calling for having an opposing opinion.

        • ML is a moron

          It’s “you’re” not “your” clown shoes Johnson…..you must be ignant yo….

  • Kiwiholden

    Too big too ugly and a waste of money.
    I really want NFC and I’ve been wanting for it for a long time but if I have to pay extra for it or have more steps to do it makes more sense to just use the current way of doing these takes.

    It want reach mass until apple takes it main stream but I don’t think they see enough money in it for them.

  • bcsc

    That’s funny, I thought quality phones came with NFC built in???

  • http://www.facebook.com/mario.pawlik Mario Pawlik

    I thought this was the idea of Bluetooth?