Jump into the world of Near Field Communications (NFC), the fast-growing technology that lets devices in close proximity exchange data, using radio signals. With lots of examples, sample code, exercises, and step-by-step projects, this hands-on guide shows you how to build NFC applications for Android, the Arduino microcontroller, and embedded Linux devices.
Dig into NFC’s architecture, and learn how it’s related to RFID
Write sample apps for Android with PhoneGap and its NFC plugin
Dive into NDEF: examine existing tag-writer apps and build your own
Listen for and filter NDEF messages, using PhoneGap event listeners
Build a full Android app to control lights and music in your home
Create a hotel registration app with Arduino, from check-in to door lock
Write peer-to-peer NFC messages between two Android devices
Explore embedded Linux applications, using examples on Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone
Tom Igoe teaches courses in physical computing and networking at the Interactive Telecommunications Program in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. In his teaching and research, he explores ways to allow digital technologies to sense and respond to a wider range of human physical expression. He is the author of Making Things Talk and Getting Started with RFID, and he co-authored Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers with Dan O’Sullivan. He is a contributor to MAKE magazine and a co-founder of the Arduino open source micro-controller project. He hopes someday to visit Svalbard and Antarctica.
Don Coleman is a lifelong engineer who has come full circle; from mechanical to software and now to hardware, bridging the gap between all disciplines. Along the way he has created systems varying from environmental monitoring mesh networks to wearable tech. Don is a seasoned PhoneGap developer embracing it since inception and has spoken across the country about the benefits and advantages of using PhoneGap. A true maker at heart - everything in this book, is running somewhere in his home. As the Director of Consulting for Chariot Solutions, a software consulting company near Philadelphia, PA, he works with teams and clients to reinvent their existing technology and lay the groundwork for the future.
Brian Jepson is a book editor with MAKE, a hacker, and co-organizer of Providence Geeks and the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire. He’s also a geek-at-large for AS220, a nonprofit arts center in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 gives Rhode Island artists uncensored and unjuried forums for their work and also provides galleries, performance space, fabrication facilities, and live/work space.
The animal on the cover of Beginning NFC is a Central American squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii). This small monkey has a distinctive black and white face mask, making it very identifiable in its native Panamanian and Costa Rican habitats. Squirrel monkeys are social animals that live in groups of 20 to 75 individuals; they have one of the most egalitarian social structures seen in the monkey kingdom. Females do not form dominance hierarchies, and males only become aggressive during breeding season.
It has been found that the males of a Central American squirrel monkey group are usually related, so they display marked affection toward one another. This behavior, coupled with the face that neither sex takes dominance within the group, is unique to the Central American species of squirrel monkey. In contrast, bands of South American squirrel monkeys always have a strict social hierarchy, with one sex winning supremacy over the other and lots of fighting and competition between males.
Central American squirrel monkeys are omnivorous, and their diets include insects, spiders, fruit, leaves, bark, flowers, and nectar. They also have a very unusual method for capturing tent-making bats; a monkey will locate a roosting bat by finding the tented leaves that provide it shelter, and then drop down onto the bat from above, hoping to startle it into emerging. Given the vegetarian aspect of its diet, the Central American squirrel monkey is a very important seed disperser and pollinator of certain flowers, including the passion flower. There are even several species of bird that have learned to follow the squirrel monkey around in hopes of catching extra insects and small vertebrates that the monkey flushes out of trees and undergrowth.
The current population of Central American squirrel monkeys is estimated at 36 monkeys per square mile in Costa Rica and 130 monkeys per square mile in Panama. It is believed that their current status as "vulnerable" is a direct result of deforestation, hunting, and capture for the pet trade. Habitat loss especially has fragmented the monkeys' favored living areas and made it difficult for them to establish large breeding groups. Although the population is doing slightly better than it was forty years ago, there are still conservation and reforestation efforts underway to try to expand the current population within Panama, especially in the country's national parks and wilderness reserves.