This wooden NFC puck gets guests onto your Wi-Fi network without a password
Ten One Design, an Apple accessory specialist, has just announced the WiFi Porter, a small wooden NFC tag that lets your guests connect their phones to your Wi-Fi network without needing its SSID or password. Both iPhone and Android phones are supported, but iPhones released before 2018 won’t be able to use the NFC functionality and will have to scan a QR code on the underside of the Porter to connect.
You know the scenario: A group of friends and family come to visit, and they all want to get on your Wi-Fi network, which means several tedious minutes of reading out the lengthy passcode for your network. That’s a problem that the new Wi-Fi Porter could solve.
The dinky puck-shaped device uses NFC (Near Field Communications) – the same tech that enables mobile payments via Apple Pay and Google Pay – to give guests access to your Wi-Fi network… provided they’ve got an NFC-compatible phone, of course (though there is a back up option).
NFC is a short-range tech that enables the secure swapping of data. The Wi-Fi Porter holds your network credentials, and once your friend or relative taps on the device, the connection is instantly made and the details get beamed across.
Of course the appeal is in the simplicity. A “join Wi-Fi” button appears on the phone, so there’s no need to tap out a lengthy passcode. Most new Android phones now come with NFC on board, and it’s been fully built into the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR (previous iPhones had NFC, but only for mobile payments).
If you don’t have NFC on your phone, you can use the QR code on the bottom of the Wi-Fi Porter and get connected that way. Scan it using your phone’s camera to get connected – not quite as quick, but still better than having to type in a passcode manually.
Using NFC tags to swap Wi-Fi login details isn’t a new idea, but before now it usually involved extra steps and needing to install an additional app to make sense of the data. By the time you’ve jumped through all those hoops, you may as well have just copied the code from the back of the router.
In this case your friends and family don’t need any special apps installed, although one is required to set up the device in the first place and get the Wi-Fi credentials added to it.
Another scenario where the Wi-Fi Porter might prove popular is in coffee shops and hotels, with guests and customers able to get online with a single tap of their phones. If you run an Airbnb, it’ll make guest access to the Wi-Fi even easier.
Another benefit of NFC technology is that it can operate without any power supply or batteries, so you can leave your Wi-Fi Porter out without worrying about whether it’s going to run out of juice.
The Wi-Fi Porter can be ordered now direct from Ten One Design, costing you US$39.95 for the standard model and $59.95 for the limited edition with an Italian leather topping.
Product page: Wi-Fi Porter