This Artwork is an amiibo

by @edent | , , | 1 comment | Read ~346 times.

A few weeks ago, I picked up 20 NFC tags. But what to do with them? I know, let's make something impractical!

I had this gorgeous Barret Biggers - Link Blot poster which had lain in a drawer for far too long. So I turned it into an Amiibo.

Framed print of an artistic Link from Zelda.

Nestled in the corner, sandwiched between the print and the glass, is an NTAG215 chip.

A circular chip behind glass.

Using the open source TagMo app for Android, I've written the data of one of my Nintendo amiibo to the chip. Now, in the middle of an epic battle on Breath of the Wild, I can run up to the artwork, awkwardly hold the JoyCon in just the right place, and get a much needed power up! Sweet!

What's the point?


Geez sport, I was only askin'. Wanna tell me what's really on your mind?

You wouldn't understand...

Try me...

Other uses

My ridiculously talented cousin, the artist Judi Lapsley Miller creates the most brain-bending bird-based artworks.

A painting of a steampunk bird.

Hidden in the corner is another NFC tag. Tap it, and it goes directly to the artwork's homepage.


NFC suffers from several problems - most of which can be solved by using a QR code.

  • The tag needs to be visible. That white circle is a little incongruous. I could have hidden it behind the paper, but then no one would know it was there, and they wouldn't know where to place their phone.
  • Where is your phone's sensor? Do you know? If not, you'll be rubbing your phone all over the glass, attempting to find it.
  • Physical contact is damaging to artwork. NFC is "contactless" - but if you ever watch people pay for things with their phone, they often slam it down on the reader. Not what you want on your art.
  • NFC is expensive. Between 50p - £2 per chip, depending on model. QR just requires black ink and white paper.
  • Limited data. The NTAG215 holds 504 bytes. QR codes can hold 8x that amount.

Basically, for anything other than an amiibo, QR codes still win.

So, there you go, I have created an impractical video game accessory. Where is my VC funding?

One thought on “This Artwork is an amiibo

  1. Steve Lake says:

    Ah brilliant thank you - I have a Lego Dimensions pad based project that I want to make, and these will be so I can NFC-enable some other toys 😃

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