TSI Connect - Brings RFID to the Web!

3/15/2020

TSI Connect now brings NFC and RFID support directly to the web with latest PWA Version directly in the browser. Installing the Android app is no longer necessary.

As we announced in our previous article series, TSI Connect is introducing RFID & NFC support in the popular PWA version. We are pleased to announce that with the latest update this has come to fruition now!

In order to use this new functionality, it is currently still necessary to manually activate the NFC functions in the advanced browser settings - we have a quick setup guide below. However, in the coming weeks and with the release of the next Chrome version, Origin Trials are set to begin, which means that these features will become available for most users and won’t require manual activations anymore.

With this upgrade we also introduced as new permissions overview detailing all current permissions in use with the TSI Connect App. Here, users not only find centralised information about all permissions that are active or can be granted, but we also explain how we use permissions and for which functions they are necessary.

On supported devices, you can find this overview in the menu of the start view.

What does this mean for the future?

NFC & RFID in the futureYet, this option is not entirely new – NFC & RFID support has been available in TSI Connect for several years now – however, previously limited exclusively to the Android version from the Play Store.

With the new WebNFC support, this last functional advantage of the Android version now also falls and we can recommend switching to our PWA version for all customers. We have already previously argued the numerous advantages of the PWA version for most users in our corresponding article series. If you wish to read up on the details again follow these links below:

Of course, we will continue to support the Android version for a longer period and provide updates and fixes to give all our users and customers sufficient time to make the switch to the PWA version.

Signals from Apple

Meanwhile there is also a public response from Apple on the subject. Unfortunately, it currently seems that Apple is opposing supporting WebNFC, citing potential security and privacy risks. At this point, it remains to be seen if widespread, adoption and popularity of this feature in the future can sufficiently demonstrate safe usage of the feature on the one hand and may sway apples stand on the issue on the other. For the Web, that would be a step forward.

Start testing today - Quick Setup Guide

Prerequisites

You need an Android smartphone with an integrated RFID/NFC radio module. Many middle-tier devices already have the necessary hardware – if you use your device for mobile, cashless payments, you probably have a supported device.

You also need the current Chrome browser version 80 or later. If you don't already have it, you can get it from the Google Play Store:

Chrome on the Play Store

Activation

To unlock the NFC feature, open the 'flags' section in Google Chrome with the link below in order to enable new experimental options that are not yet generally available. Here you will find WebNFC, which you set to 'Enabled'.

chrome://flags/#enable-webnfc

Link to Chrome's flags section to activate WebNFCYou can also open the following QR code with your Chrome browser, which will take you there directly as well.

Once done relaunch Chrome and open TSI Connect as usual. RFID support is active for you!

Selection of suitable RFID Tags from TSIRFID Tags

To try out RFID functionality you of course also need compatible RFID tags. If you require tags you can check out our RFID accessories page, where you’ll find a selection of suitable RFID tags and accessories.