Electronic tea labels?
Was wondering if anyone else is using NFC tags to digitally label their tea stash?
I’m using wide mouth pint size mason jars for tea storage and have affixed NFC tags to plastic mason jar lids.
Each tag/lid combo is programmed to trigger a visit to the tea’s Steepster (or vendor’s) page. A tap of the tag with my Android phone pops up the tea’s info.
That would be useful to get quick info on ideal steeping instructions and reviews, although it would take a bit of time to get it all organized. I wonder if you could use your phone to scan everything to take a quick inventory of what you have on hand? Sounds like a neat idea though!
There is quite a bit of software avaiable in the Android world: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=nfc
.. and two different basic approaches that can be taken. The tags themselves are able to store data, and can be rewritten until “locked.” Or they each have a unique fingerprint/ID that can be used to simply trigger scripts on the phone. This second approach is what I’m doing.
Setting up each tea is a fairly quick process. Tap the phone to the tag to initiate the setup mode. Enter the URL of the site for that tea into the Android app and save that script.
I’m having to manually type in the site currently but have asked the app developer to consider allowing QR codes as input for URLs. There are a billion browser plugins out there that will create QR codes for web sites on the fly. That combo would make entering the URL much easier.
There do seem to be some apps on the Google Play store designed to track inventory via NFC tags. Even with having to manually enter the URL, setup isn’t that bad. The end result feels very Star Trek-ish! And of course I’m hosed if there’s no cell phone signal! This has been more of an exercise in how to use NFC tags than how to improve my tea life, but it is pretty nifty and seems to be something that may gel and be pretty widespread in the not too distant future. Just thought I’d throw the idea out there into the Steepster zeitgeist for others to ponder. It’s not for everybody, but gives me an excuse to take better care of some of my tea by vacuum sealing certain jars (the plastic lid with the NFC tag still fits over the top of the vacuum sealed jars.)
The mason jar approach is also being discussed over here: http://steepster.com/discuss/4125-best-tea-storage-material-bring-your-facts-and-opinions?post_id=82509#forum_post_82509