My foray into NFC tags started with a couple of sources of inspiration right around the same time last year. I saw this video by Allie K. Miller first.

And then received this beanie from a SheFi event at ETHDenver, a collab piece with Ensō. (Side note, for women and non-binary readers, if you have any interest in learning more about Web3, blockchain, crypto, decentralized finance, NFTs, or generative AI, I highly recommend SheFi’s program. Feel free to put my name down as a referrer!)

Interacting with this hat was humbling and my first “phygital” experience (physical + digital). Tapping on the IYK patch (second image) minted a digital replica of the beanie as an NFT (non-fungible token).

As someone whose personal brand always morphs before I get to the end of a stack of any business cards I have made, I wanted to make a creative asset that could update with me over time. Enter the connected bookmarks!

I’ve accumulated quite the pile of paintings and doodles over the years. I started tearing them up into bookmarks to give away in 2018. I decided to connect them to my website using NFC tags last year. On the back of each one is a symbol or word stamp. Underneath it is a paper-thin NFC sticker that links to a page on this website. I program them using the NFC Tools app for iOS (it’s free but the $2.99 for the Pro version is well worth it). It’s always fun to watch people interact with them, so these have been a hit.

And how cool to see IYK recently making connected bookmarks for pre-orders of the book, “Read, Write, Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet” by Chris Dixon. (Can’t wait to read this!)

In addition to the bookmarks, I’ve created some connected jewelry, starting with last year’s “connectlace.” I cut hearts from reclaimed leather from an old chair, handpainted each one using leather paints and my favorite Posca markers, and assembled them using jump rings and pieces of chain from a craft store. I placed anti-metal NFC tags going to different websites (personal site, LinkedIn, Telegram, etc.) on different hearts. (I find Timeskey tags to work pretty well and pretty consistently.)

More recently, I’ve converted a couple of cuffs I made in past years into connected bracelets. The first is reclaimed leather from Tandy that I handpainted and the second is a digitally designed pattern (using Procreate – the best $10 I’ve ever spent on an app, btw) on print-on-demand synthetic leather from Contrado, my go-to for all things POD. (Nope, I’m not collecting any affiliate revenue on this post, but maybe I should consider that!)

Most recently, I’ve been on a mission to make connected clothing. I wanted to design patterns inspired by the monstera leaf for my startup, Menopausey, to wear at my next conference later this month. I generated some almost seamless patterns using Adobe Firefly and went back to Contrado to turn them into long-sleeved t-shirts. And I ordered some garment NFC tags from Seritag and iron-on patches from Amazon.

The idea is that people can tap a patch on my sleeve to learn more about what I’m building as an alternative to a business card.

Header image generated by Adobe Firefly.