Tag Archives: NFC

Unlock your car door with a fistbump

Maker Pierre Charlier shows how he was able to add NFC control to his car door with a KeyDuino.

In the year 2016, the idea of having to use an actual key to lock and unlock your car is as obsolete as listening to a cassette tape. Pretty much every vehicle these days comes with a remote, which lets you wirelessly control your doors from afar. Not to mention, some whips can even sense when you’re in close proximity and automatically unlock as you approach.


Pierre Charlier, on the hand, decided to retrofit his old ride with a KeyDuino and a relay shield, which enabled him to experience keyless entry in the form of a fistbump via an NFC ring. To accomplish this, the Maker removed his car’s internal lock switch and modified the wire harness to take the connection to the ‘duino. For a permanent 12V power supply, he plugged a wire directly on a fuse and another to the ground of the vehicle. (However, it should be noted that connections differ from car to car.)


As you can see in the video below, the system also works with a smartphone for those who rather not wear a ring. Charlier has shared all of the code and a step-by-step breakdown of the project for those interested in adding NFC-enabled entry to your set of wheels. Looking ahead, the Maker hopes to have an improved prototype with a BLE+NFC board right on the door handle.

The brainchild of Charlier himself, KeyDuino is Arduino-like board with built-in NFC capabilities that was successfully launched on Kickstarter late last year. Based on the ATmega32U4, the KeyDuino shares pretty much the same form factor and DNA as the Leonardo, and is compatible with most shields.




KeyDuino helps give your living room a futuristic touch

Now you can build your own NFC-enabled infinity mirror coffee table. 

Have you always wanted to add some Tony Stark-like effects to your living room? Well, thanks to Pierre Charlier, you’re in luck. That’s because the French engineer, who recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for the KeyDuino, has shared a tutorial for an impressive infinity mirror table.


To bring his idea to life, Charlier upgraded a $159 IKEA RAMVIK coffee table with 152 RGB LEDs and a 19” x 27” mirror for that sweet illusion. He placed the mirror underneath the furniture’s glass top, outlined the inner edge with a strip of LEDs and layered the original glass surface with a reflective car tint. The unit itself is powered by a 5V 6A supply.


As if that weren’t enough, Charlier decided to add to the magic. Hidden under the table, the Maker equipped the IKEA piece with his NFC-enabled, Arduino-like board which enabled him to control its hue with just a tap of a smartphone. One scroll of the color wheel opens up unlimited possibilities.

Intrigued? See it in action below! Meanwhile, you can check out KeyDuino on Kickstarter, where it has successfully garnered over $14,000 from more than 230 backers.

KeyDuino is like an Arduino with built-in NFC

KeyDuino lets you replace keys with your smartphone, NFC ring or any proximity card.

For a while, near field communication (NFC) was being heralded as the future of the Internet of Things. From mobile payments to digital signage, the possibilities of were endless. Now, French engineer Pierre Charlier and his team are hoping to bring the contactless form of technology to Arduino projects with a development board called KeyDuino.


Based on the ATmega32U4, the KeyDuino shares pretty much the same form factor and DNA as the Arduino Leonardo, and will work with most shields. The board was initially conceived as a method of touch-and-go access control, such as unlocking your car door or opening a private drawer in your room, but has since transcended well beyond just entry. Case in point, the Maker recently devised an NFC-enabled infinity coffee tablemagic gift box and even an easy-to-read smart meter, all of which can be activated by simply tapping your phone.

“KeyDuino will be the bridge that helps you wirelessly interact with your environment, drive motors, unlock strikes, control relays, read from a temperature sensor and all thanks to built in NFC connectivity, right out of the box,” Charlier explains.


In addition to some nifty projects, KeyDuino is also a fantastic way to teach yourself or others about NFC. That’s why Charlier has developed an Android app to streamline and establish peer-to-peer communication. Now with that app, for example, you can control every pin or receive an analog mesure from the KeyDuino without any contact.

Currently live on Kickstarter, the team is hoping that the KeyDuino will help spur NFC adoption and usher in an era where phones, smart rings and proximity cards replace those old-fashioned metal keys. (Hence its name.)


Intrigued? The board’s creators are seeking $10,723 and expect to begin shipping in Februray 2016.

Creating an NFC-enabled jukebox with Arduino

One Maker has built his own jukebox with the help of Arduino, an NFC shield and a few tags.

Jukeboxes were among the first forms of automated coin-operated musical devices, dating all the way back to the 1920s. Following their inception, the boxes went on to become a common fixture at just about every diner, bar and laundromat, as well as play a prominent role in the sitcom Happy Days. However, with advancement in technologies, the idea of having to deposit a quarter (or two) into a chrome, colorful device became obsolete.


But what about inserting an NFC tag? If you’re wishing to relive some of your favorite jukebox memories, then you’ll appreciate a recent project from Mario Pucci who devised an ingenious way to play some tunes with the help of Arduino. To do this, the Italian Maker used an Uno (ATmega328) running Python and an NFC shield that reads songs programmed on a series of RFID tags as they make their way through the slot on top.


What you will also notice is that the musical machine itself was not made of wood, metal or plastic; instead, Pucci crafted it out of cardboard lying around his house. While it may be no 1952 Seeburg M100C, this DIY gadget is awesome! See it in action below!

Creating an NFC door lock with the Qduino Mini

Have you ever wanted to unlock your front door with just your bus pass, a tag or an old hotel room key? Now you can.

In today’s world, convenience is a huge factor. From mass transit to hotels, more and more devices are becoming enabled with contactless technology to expedite our days. Wouldn’t it be great to do the same at home? After all, having to search through your bag to find your keys can often times be a daunting task, and time-consuming nevertheless. Just imagine how easy it could be to unlock your front door using nothing but that bus pass, that old hotel room key, or any other item embedded with an NFC tag. Thanks to Maker Quin Etnyre, now you can. Even better, the entire project costs less than $100!


As its name would imply, the NFC Door Lock is a compact, Qduino Mini-powered door lock that senses when there is an NFC tag present, unlocks your door using a servo motor and multiple 3D-printed parts, and makes absolutely no modifications to your current door accessory. In other words, you can take it apart if needed in just a few minutes.

“This is super useful and I hope to put it on all doors of my house — it’s a relatively easy build in a few hours for an advanced user or a great weekend project for beginners,” the 14-year-old Maker explains.


Fresh on the heels of a super successful Kickstarter campaign, the Qduino Mini is ideally suited for this project. For those unfamiliar with it, the Arduino-compatible board is equipped with a built-in battery charger and fuel gauge that can notify a user whenever a LiPo needs a little extra juice. However, since the Qduino Minis won’t be readily available until this summer, Etynre suggests using a SparkFun Pro Micro (ATmega32U4), a LiPo battery charger, and a LiPo battery fuel gauge.

Using his ATmega2560 based Bukito 3D printer, the Maker went on to create a couple of parts for the lock, including its round mounting plate, servo head, servo mounting blocks, as well as the housing for its electronics. All of these components can be completed in a matter of two-three hours.


Etnyre then acquired hookup wire, an Adafruit NFC Shield, the Qduino Mini and some right angle male headers, before splitting off three pins from the block of male headers, and soldering them to one edge of the proto space on the NFC Shield. Throw in some cutting between the IRQ and D2 on the NFC Shield, along with a little coding using the Adafruit PN532 NFC library, and you’re well on your way to finishing the smart lock.

Next, the Maker removed the inside face of his deadbolt and mounted the servo head onto the door. He placed the entire assembly of the Qduino Mini and NFC Shield inside the 3D-printed box, attached the servo cable to its connector and ran the cable through the designated hole in the lower lefthand corner of the housing. From there, the lock is affixed to the door.

Want to add an NFC Door Lock to your home? Head over to Etnyre’s entire project page here. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out the Qduino Mini here.

Fujitsu’s smart ring will let you write in midair

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a lightweight, compact wearable device that makes it easy to draw letterforms in the air.

Though it seems wrist-adorned and head-mounted displays (HMDs) are all the buzz as of late, Fujitsu is hoping to change that with their newly-revealed smart ring that not only allows for motion control, but in-air handwriting as well. Sure, HMDs are already helping to provide a hands-free workplace for operators, however they don’t make it particularly easy to select displayed information, input figures, jot down memos on workplace conditions, or perform other necessary tasks.


Fujitsu’s latest innovation lets wearers trace letters using their fingertip, while a built-in motion sensor translates those movements into usable characters. By “writing” in the air, users can then select menu options or make notes on photos that they take in the field — something which could certainly also come in handy during a tradeshow or while on-the-go.

“By applying proprietary technology that corrects the letterform tracings, Fujitsu has been able to improve character recognition accuracy, enabling recognition of everything from numbers to Chinese characters.”


Aside from its motion sensor — which features an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer — a BLE module, a status display LED, an operation button, a sensor-processing MCU, and a battery (capable of lasting roughly eight hours) are all packed into the tiny device. In addition, there’s an NFC tag reader embedded inside that will enable a user to receive instructions with a simple tap. The company believes that as data from the object to be worked on can be easily selected in a hands-free manner, the performance of maintenance and other tasks is expected to be more efficient.

While still merely a prototype, Fujitsu is currently testing the real-world usability of the device with aspirations of practical implementation by early next year. Explore the ring in more detail here.