Print media is entering a new era, thanks to the NTAG 210µ, a
Near Field Communication (NFC)
IC that turns traditional print formats into smart print media. Added to
paper, either in the form of a sticker or as an integral part of the paper
itself, NTAG 210µ turns traditional print media, such as magazines,
posters, signs, catalogs and mailers, into digitalized channels that allow
direct communication with consumers, for context-based experiences and
Smart print media lets today’s brands take advantage of what ABI
Research predicts will be 1.8 billion NFC-enabled handsets in use by the end
of 2016, rising to 3 billion by the end of 2018. Adding NFC to what has, up to
now, been offline channels makes print media part of the rapidly expanding
Internet of Things (IoT).
Any NFC-enabled phone, brought close to the NTAG 210µ, powers the NFC tag
and initiates the transfer of information stored in the chip. This allows for
local use on the phone application or connection to a cloud-based service.
Interactions between the tag and the consumer can be customized, to provide
digital content based on certain factors, such as time and location, and in
response to current or prior user actions.
User engagement becomes a real-time data feed and creates a stronger bond with
the brand, through context-sensitive messages, special experiences at a given
time or location or individual promotions based on usage patterns. Each
interaction can also be captured by a content-management platform, based in
the cloud, so advertisers and marketers can track trends, personalize
interactions and gain deeper consumer insights.
Direct, personal brand engagements
print media, using NTAG 210µ, creates direct digital engagement with
individual consumers and seamlessly merges their offline and online content
experiences. As an advertiser, marketer or retailer, you can use smart print
media to connect directly with customers and provide extra product
information, vouchers, promotions, links to social media, how-to videos
– just about any type of content you want.
The creative possibilities are almost endless, since the NTAG 210µ can be
part of other paper-based items, too. For example, interactive packaging
solutions can enhance the customer experience by presenting add-on products,
promotional messages or contests. Smart playing cards can take gaming to the
next level, by unlocking power-ups, new characters, and higher gaming levels
and smart greeting cards can be configured to give personalized text, voice or video messages.
Leaving QR codes in the rear-view mirror
simpler, more convenient and quicker to use than the matrix barcodes, called
Quick Response (QR) codes, that have appeared in print media in recent years.
With a QR code, you have to download an app that turns your phone into a QR
code scanner in order to read the static information. QR codes also
don’t store or modify content, so the interactions they support are
much more limited.
With NFC, there’s no need to download a special app, since an
NFC-enabled smartphone can read an NTAG on its own, without third-party
software. The user experience is completely intuitive, because all you need to
do is bring your phone close to the printed piece to initiate an interaction.
NFC doesn’t impact the graphic design of the piece the way a QR code
can, since the tag can be completely invisible and does not require printing
space. Add it up, and NFC, in the form of NTAG 210µ is an ideal
replacement for current barcode and QR code solutions.
Key enabler: NTAG 210µ
The new NTAG 210µ is
designed to enable digital engagement in high-volume, cost-sensitive
applications. It’s fully NFC Forum type 2 tag compliant, comes with a
flexible 48-byte read/write memory and has two options for input capacitance
(17 or 50 pF), so it enables a wide range of form factors. Also, since NFC
tags have individual serial numbers, each piece of printed media is
automatically made unique. This allows campaigns and brand owners to retrieve
usage data and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.
To increase the number of possible use cases, the NTAG 210µ offers a
reprogrammable NXP originality signature. The tag can use the pre-configured
originality signature, assigned by NXP or can be configured with a custom
signature for use with the media assets of a specific brand. That way,
individual players in the supply chain can make use of the tag in their own
To create an interactive NTAG 210µ content experience on an Android
device, developers can simply use NXP’s free,
which provides simple-to-use Android libraries for rapid mobile app
development. The application can be configured to check the tag’s
signature and authenticity, and then deliver the specified interaction for an
outstanding user experience.
NTAG 210µ partners
To help expand the ecosystem
for smart print media, NXP has partnered with other key players in the RFID
market and consumer segment. Developers of NXP-based smart print media can
leverage the resources and expertise of
SMARTRAC, a manufacturer of high-security RFID inlays, like those used in ePassports,
RapidNFC, Europe’s largest online provider of NFC items. NXP’s
solutions for smart print media are also supported by
Cartamundi, a global producer of playing cards.
“NXP’s NTAG 210µ provides us with unprecedented levels
of flexibility. It gives us the potential to significantly increase our
customer experience while offering innovation and excitement. Today,
NFC enabled playing cards are a perfect complement to smartphones and
tablets, greatly enhancing the mobile gaming experience for kids and
adults alike. NXP’s NTAG 210µ now brings our physical card
plays into the connected age.”
— Steven Nietvelt, Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer at
“By launching NTAG 210µ, NXP furthermore demonstrates the
capabilities of NFC-optimized ICs for a broad array of NFC applications.
The NTAG 210µ enables us to serve the market with smaller inlays like
SMARTRAC MIDAS or CIRCUS, which can be easily embedded in smart
advertising media, interactive cards, smart toys and other items. In addition, it enables brand owners and retailers to enhance the
customer experience by adding digital content and marketing services to
their physical products. The connection of digital content to
object-embedded NFC tags can be achieved with SMARTRAC’s
‘EXPERIENCES’ solution, which is based on our Internet of
Things platform SMART COSMOS. Therefore, we are very pleased to
jointly work with NXP to continue delivering a highly innovative portfolio
to a market that is gaining momentum, and offers lots of
— Tero Koivisto, Vice President, Product Management Inlays,
Intelligent Things Business Division at Smartrac Technology Group
Join the conversation
What kinds of interactions would
you like to see with smart print media? How do you think smart print media
will impact advertising campaigns and marketing promotions? Will it create
deeper brand relationships?
NXP’s NTAG portfolio