The playroom is ready for an upgrade. With Near Field Communication (NFC), everything from traditional board games to action figures and video games can take on new life. The presence of NFC in the playroom also makes technology a familiar part of everyday life, and helps children learn to navigate an increasingly technology-driven world. Here are just some of the ways that NFC enables Playroom 2.0:
1. Teddy has a brand new NFC tag
With an NTAG discretely embedded in his tummy, Mr. Teddy Bear can interact with any other NFC-enabled device. He can read data to and from another toy, or store data on your smartphone. The interactions can involve just about anything – another plush toy, a figurine, board-game tiles, playing cards, trading cards, a gaming console, or other electronic devices.
2. Tamagotchi’s are more lifelike
Equipped with NFC, these handheld digital pets, created in Japan, can do lots more things. Your Tamagotchi can communicate with your friend’s Tamagotchi, to play games or exchange items, or it can interact with your smartphone, for extended play. Tap your Tamagotchi to a soft drink in a grocery store or a menu item in a restaurant, and for a little extra fee, your pet can drink and eat what it likes best.
3. Figurines and videogames become one
Let’s say you’re playing a videogame that involves different characters. You have a figurine for a character and want to use it with your gaming console. The NFC reader in the gaming console recognizes the NFC tag in the figurine, and the toy now comes to life in the video game.
4. Smartphones & tablets extend the fun
Tap your NFC-enabled figurine to your smartphone, tablet, or gaming device, and the toy appears in an app, where you can choose from a menu of programmable features. Change your figurine’s voice, or give him new capabilities. A browser window automatically links you to videos explaining each feature, and discount vouchers, available online, make it easy to activate more advanced options.
5. Trading cards and stickers do more
Building a collection of trading cards for your favorite sport? The new cards come equipped with NFC, so you can tap the card to your smartphone to access extra info or updated stats on the digital version. Create your team and then link each card to a digital profile, so you can play online.
6. Board games lose the boredom factor
The basic concept’s the same – you roll the dice and move your tokens around the board – but now the board has NFC readers embedded in it and the tokens, cards, and dice use NTAGs to store, send, and receive data. The game can be programmed for random events, make sounds when certain things happen, or create virtual bank accounts and score cards. Your phone can get in on the action, too, working as an input device or a display, showing animations, helpful hints, or secret messages for selected players.
7. Remote control is now full control
Any toy that uses a remote control – racecar, motorcycle, 4×4, helicopter – can do more when NFC’s on board. Switch on lights, make sounds, interact with LED accessories, or buy gasoline and change tires, count rounds, or measure speed. Set up your own parkour race, and configure different events for each stage you complete.
What’s your take on it?
NXP TechZone page for NFC gaming
NTAG product page: