NFC Uses Thread


I just got my first set of NFC tags, and I am surprised not to see a thread where everyone chimes in with their NFC uses in one place. (Maybe I’m missing it or looking in the wrong places? If so, can anyone point me there?)

NFC is such a new way of operating, it seems like a single thread with everyone’s ideas would be a great resource to help us (or me) spark new ideas, from simple to complex.

Here’s mine: I’m always forgetting to put my watch back on when I charge it in the morning, so I put a tag next to my watch charger. I put down my watch and scan the tag, and it sets a timer to remind me to put my watch back on in 30 minutes.


A couple of use cases to add to the list:

  • When I tap my transit card to my iPhone the Transit app opens.
  • When I tap my credit card to my iPhone my bank’s app opens.

No stickers are required since both cards already have an NFC chip.


I have one on my nightstand which runs a shortcut which prompts me to set my bedroom Hue lights to on, off, or nightlight settings. I can tap whichever choice I want.

I have two by my bedroom light switch, one above and one below. Top one turns the lights fully on. Bottom one turns them off.

I have one on the case for my mouth-guard. I have to run it under hot water for about 45-50 seconds before putting it in every night. The NFC tag runs a shortcut which:

  1. Prompts me to press ‘OK’ to start the timer
  2. Starts a 25-second timer
  3. Vibrates the phone and plays a sound (this is when I flip the mouth-guard from one side to the other)
  4. Runs another 25-second timer
  5. Vibrates the phone and plays a sound (this is when I turn the hot water off)
  6. Turns my bedroom lights on to 50%
  7. Puts my phone on DND
  8. Open the clock app so I can set an alarm

I have them inside our kitchen cabinets, with the idea being that I’ll write a shortcut for my wife, my son, and myself, which, when scanned, will let us easily add new items to a shared shopping list (“Hey I opened the cabinet and realized we’re out of X”), but I haven’t done that part yet.

I have a bunch more stickers, but haven’t come up with any more ideas yet, so I look forward to seeing what other people are doing with them.


NFC tags have become really useful for me since iOS 13.

I’ve got a few use cases.

  1. Front Door
    If my hall lights are on (when I’m leaving home), it runs a Shortcut to turn all lights off, change audio playback to my iPhone and pauses it.
    If my hall are off (when I arrive home), it runs a Shortcut to turn all the lights on and starts playing some music on my HomePod.

  2. Bedroom Door
    Similar to the above - if the living room lights are on it runs a scene to turn them off and then turn the bedroom lights on and starts playing a playlist on my HomePod.
    The same NFC tag runs a different Shortcut if the bedroom lights are on in the morning - this Shortcut turns the bathroom, hall and living room lights on and reads out some news headlines and weather for the day. It also grabs todays calendar events, due tasks from Reminders and adds them to a new Drafts note along with a reminder of my morning ritual so I’ve got it all together in one place to review before I start the day (this keeps me out of my Reminders app where I can easily waste time).

  3. Office
    Under my desk, this one runs a Shortcut to turn the lights on bright, sets a timer for 25 minutes, puts my phone on DND and plays a playlist of focus music.

  4. Turntable
    Under my turntable, it turns the power on to the turntable and the amp, plus sets the lights to a particular scene.

I’m intrigued as to what everyone else is doing - I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface with mien so far.

I really like the credit card automation idea, I shall be setting that up today!


How do you get the HomePod to play? I tried doing this and couldn’t get it to work. Is it your phone air playing, or is it native to the HomePod?

It would be great if it could directly play what I want on the HomePod but the only way I’ve got it to play what I want is to AirPlay from the phone to the HomePod.

Here is how it looks.

There is a way to use Shortcuts to do this on the HomePod but it’s not ideal for me - use the action ‘Play/Pause’ in Shortcuts and it will let you ‘Play’ on whichever AirPlay speaker you select - but all it will do is resume playback from whatever was playing last.

To set it up, just use this action.


Thank you for the high quality tutorial! Great screenshots. :grinning:

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Please share your bedside shortcut, TJ!

Shortcut Screenshot

Well, here you go… it’s really nothing special, just a “Choose from menu” and then some different scenes that I had already defined in the, followed by one option for the flashlight.

I don’t know why the forum software is squishing that image. But if you click here you can see the original.


I now have an NFC tag in my car. I found that “when connects to Bluetooth” is spotty and sometimes happens multiple times in a long trip. So I decided that a “compatible with metal” NFC tag was the best way to go.

(Please ignore the general dustiness of my dashboard.)

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I struggle with the whole “stick a tag on a door” thing. These are not aesthetic items and buy-in from “civilians” is difficult to obtain.

So I end up leaving them on their backing paper in various places. Not ideal.

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Aren’t there simple buttons that could do this, and do not require your phone to be taken out of the pocket and put in a precise position?

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I really want to play with NFC stickers/tags, but haven’t yet come up with a good use case, and this is the main reason why. Loads of good ideas in this thread, but all the home based ones are already taken care of via smart switches and/or smart assistant voice commands. And TJ’s car use case is done via “when connects to carplay” for me.

Yep. I could see a usage for “connect to the speaker I’ve put this sticker on” if you have multiple devices. I’m sure there are more. But buttons just seem like the better option nine out of ten times.

But NFC stickers are a lot less expensive than most of the smart home switches, etc. I see NFC stickers eventually filling the spaces between where smart home devices make sense.

Unless you buy “metal friendly” NFC stickers will this even work? The only such stickers I’ve seen look ugly.

So I have a sticker in my kitchen - still on its backing paper - next to the HomePod. Actually I have two - one for Shortcuts and one for Launch Center Pro.

Yeah, if this update had dropped 12-18 months ago, I’d probably have gone with stickers instead of switches for some of my uses - but not all as switches are much more “muggle” friendly.