New Low-Cost Inlay Could Make NFC a Mass-Marketing Tool

CIRCUS NFC inlays offer small size and high performance for applications such as stickers, flyers, key fobs, playing cards and item-level tagging, without the graphic design constraints of barcodes or QR codes.


When small size and high performance are critical, SMARTRAC CIRCUS NFC round-form inlays & tags offer some of the neatest and most cost-effective solutions to applications such as tagging smart advertising media, small stickers, key fobs and individual, small form-factor items.

Broad Range of Application Areas, from Smart Advertising Media to Playing Cards

A new CIRCUS inlay using NXP's NTAG210 Micro IC now offers enhanced flexibility to designers of smart advertising media, printed marketing collateral including promotional items and advertising flyers, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) packaging and much more, without the need to dedicate valuable on-media space to barcodes or QR Codes.


NFC in action - Porsche advertisement published in Auto Motor & Sport magazine October 2016

NFC tags can be incorporated into a variety of different media, including magazine ads, catalogues, direct mail pieces, posters, point of purchase displays, on packaging or on products themselves. They facilitate simple, effortless interactivity from consumers –transforming static physical assets into dynamic content delivery networks.

What’s more, consumers can interact with such marketing materials without the need to download a separate QR or barcode reader app – a simple tap with any NFC-enabled smartphone allows them to access further information about a product or promotion.

Tomorrow’s Technology Becomes Affordable Today

Since NFC enables direct, one-to-one engagement with consumers through their personal smartphones, it bridges the gap between the physical world of the promotional item and the digital content world of the brand.

NFC is rapidly becoming the contactless technology of choice for manufacturers of mobile devices, and will therefore become a “native” technology for the mobile users of today and tomorrow. Current forecasts predict that 2.2 billion NFC-enabled smartphones will be shipped by 2020¹. This will drive the development of more smart advertising media and other application areas that leverage NFC to interact with consumers, as they in turn become more aware of the technology and start using it regularly to interact with products and brands.

Source: IHS, NXP


While embedding a tiny NFC tag within physical media offers a cost-effective solution to make their promotional materials smart, agencies and brands are acutely aware of the need to control production costs for smart advertising media and out-of-home advertisements. SMARTRAC’s CIRCUS NTAG210 Micro inlay has been designed with slimmed-down functionality to offer a low-cost alternative to more sophisticated and expensive inlays, offering a feature set that will suit the needs of smart advertising media applications.

Application areas for NFC are endless: CIRCUS NFC inlays & tags are already stimulating interest for applications in various other industry sectors, notably electronics and gaming; playing cards and collectable cards; product authentication; and retail.

Tiered Technology to Suit Application Needs

CIRCUS inlays & tags are available with NXP’s new NTAG210 Micro IC as well as the field-proven NTAG213 chips. While the NTAG213 chip offers 144 bytes of memory for more high-end applications and several other features, CIRCUS with the NTAG210 Micro IC is a cost-efficient alternative where small size with 48 bytes of user memory is all that’s required. This stripped-down chip provides reprogrammable originality signature, which allows customers to upgrade their system security.

This two-tier approach using the NTAG210 Micro IC complements the CIRCUS NFC product offering for media applications such as advertising. In contrast to ever more sophisticated and more expensive inlays, it offers simplicity and low cost by removing certain features that are not always needed in certain application areas. In short, CIRCUS with the NTAG210 Micro IC on board offers the industry’s best contactless alternative to the barcode or QR code.

CIRCUS NFC products are based on the ISO 14443 A standard, and conform to NFC Forum standards. SMARTRAC’s inlays and tags are also compliant with ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management. This ensures a reliable and state-of-the-art product that meets a variety of application needs.

For further information about the CIRCUS NFC range of inlays and tags, click here or contact our sales & customer service team.


¹Source: IHS