Tap To Share your Unstoppable Domains ProfileNov 10, 2022
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By Richard Protus, Principal Engineer, Consumer Identity, Unstoppable Domains
Your Web3 domain is your digital identity – for getting paid, gaming in the Metaverse, networking, and so much more. But what if you could easily share your Unstoppable Domains profile with people IRL, allowing them to see your badges and the information you choose to share? In this article, we will discuss how you can do this and the technology behind it.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology that you might not have heard of, but most likely are already using on a daily basis if you’re using your phone to make purchases in stores. NFC is a form of wireless communication that only works over very short distances, a few inches. It’s what enables Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and all the Tap To Pay credit and debit cards. NFC capabilities are available in the top 10 major mobile phone brands, and chances are that nearly everyone you meet will be able to read your NFC tags.
In the simplest form, NFC tags act similarly to a QR code minus the need to use the camera; placing your phone near the NFC tag will automatically load data such as a URL in the web browser. Thanks to your mobile phone, creating your own NFC tag is remarkably easy.
The use cases of NFC tags have exploded in recent years – today, everyone has a mobile phone NFC reader already available. Combined with new and exciting features in the NFC chips, the possibilities have yet to be fully explored. NFC tags can be embedded into products directly, provided as stickers or even be sewn into clothing tags (and survive the washer/dryer). Some NFC tags even support authentication and are being used to securely tie physical items to NFTs in the metaverse: Nike and Rtfkt partnered in their CloneX collection to use an NFC tag to link metaverse NFTs to real life products like a hoodie.
With a free NFC app, your mobile phone can use the internal NFC antenna to program basic NFC tags. In this article, we’ll discuss how to program an NFC tag with the URL of your Unstoppable Domain profile, as an example: https://ud.me/brad.crypto. Then, others can tap to read your NFC tag to automatically browse to your profile page, so you can quickly share contact information and crypto wallet addresses.
The basic steps are:
- Choose a NFC tag type: card, sticker, inlay, fob, etc
- Acquire an NFC tag
- Get a mobile phone app
- Select the URL address to use
- Program the NFC tag
- Tap to Share!
Buying an NFC tag is easy, but there are so many options and models it can be confusing as to which one to buy. For your first project, I recommend a card, as they are more durable over time, and you are unlikely to lose it (just put it in your wallet like any other credit card). Look for a NTAG213 which supports URLs up to 136 characters. A quick search for “NTAG213 card” should reveal plenty of options. The cost should be less than $1 per card even in small quantities, but you might have to buy at least 5 or 10. Another option is to look for a sample or evaluation kit that has many types of tags.
There are many free mobile apps for programming NFC tags. NFC Tools is a popular choice and I have found it to work well. Click the “Add a record” button to add a URL:
Link to your ud.me profile page by replacing “brad.crypto” with your Unstoppable Domain in the example URL “https://ud.me/brad.crypto”.
Every NFC writer app is a little different, but look to “Write” and “Add” a standard “URI/URL” record. The Unstoppable Domains site ud.me uses the prefix “https://”. Then choose the “Write” option and bring the phone near the NFC tag. The app will show a success message if the URL was successfully written to the NFC tag. That’s it!
To test the NFC tag, close the app and tap read it or simply approach the NFC tag with your NFC enabled mobile device. Your phone should automatically browse to your Unstoppable Domains Profile.
Congratulations, you now have a digital business card to share your profile! If any of that was confusing or didn’t work for you, see this tutorial video.
You can add some flair to your card with custom printed graphics using a home inkjet. The white pvc NFC tag cards are printable, typically on both sides. Google search “inkjet pvc card tray” and look for your inkjet model. Print your domain name, Profile Photo or even your favorite PFP NFT on the card. Another option, although more expensive, is to simply use an online service. Upload graphics, the desired URL and just wait for the finished card in mail.