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Embedded RFID Tags Help Make This Book a Good Read
A book about hot-air ballooning incorporates tags that can be read via an NFC-enabled phone to access more information, or be encoded with new data for others to view.
Oct 10, 2012—Every year, Dutch publishing firm Elektor International Media produces 30 to 40 electronic and paper books, describing the use of technology. But this year, the company is releasing a book that actually incorporates some of that technology—specifically, Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID. Catch the Sun, a book about ballooning, is intended to bridge the traditional book-publishing world with the digital world, by featuring NFC tags on its cover and some of its pages. A user equipped with an NFC-enabled mobile phone or tablet can then tap each tag and be directed to an Elektor-hosted Web site in order to learn more about a particular topic. Those who buy the book can even personalize it, using the phone or tablet to encode two of its tags.
Han Nabben, the book's author, is the senior director of integrated global marketing and communications at NXP Semiconductors, a company that manufactures a large percentage of the silicon chips used to produce NFC RFID tags. Nabben approached Wisse Hettinga, Elektor's editor-in-chief, with an idea for a book about one of his favorite hobbies—ballooning—while incorporating NFC technology. "He was looking at what he does for business and pleasure, and how he could combine them," Hettinga says.
Click here to view a larger version of the above cover.
The idea, Hettinga explains, gave Elektor an opportunity to connect the old technology of book publishing with the new technologies of NFC and the Internet.
The book utilizes a total of eight Identive Group NFC tags containing NXP NFC chips. A tag affixed to the cover provides a link to a Web page that downloads the book's title song to the NFC-enabled phone or tablet. Five tags on the inside pages direct a user's phone or tablet to a page on a Web site that provides additional information, pictures or videos about ballooning, or enables users to share the book with others via a social-media network, such as Facebook. And on the back cover are two tags that users can encode with their own information, such as a birthday greeting for a recipient of the book, information about their own ballooning experiences, or a link to another Web site of interest.
A user must have an NFC-enabled phone or tablet in order to access the additional content, but he or she need not download an application. Simply tapping the phone against the tag directs the device to the data specific to that tag's unique ID number. Elektor set up a Web site on which it stores specific data related to each tag—as such, each tag sends a user to a different page on that site.
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