I’ve found the Sony Xperia SmartTags to be extremely useful for they eliminate the mundane and trivial tasks that I typically have to repeat several times on a daily basis. These little chips are light, robust, and easy on the eyes, although I’d like more than just 4 colors so I could sprinkle them everywhere I go. The SmartTags require no battery and operate in a wide temperature range (-40F to 149F) so you can leave it in a car and forget about it. I have dropped one SmartTag a couple of times and it stilled worked as a new one. However, I have been told that they aren’t waterproof – and I didn’t test this claim. But I would avoid leaving them outdoor (although at $19.99 for a pack of 4, they are reasonably cheap).
My SmartTags became so convenient that, in fact, I tried to use my own iPhone with them a few times to no avail. In terms training – no, the SmartTags didn’t help me break the marathon world record…yet. But I can say with confidence that they have drastically simplified how I used a smartphone to compliment my running. On this note, I do wish something sort of iPhone equivalent would be available in the future – as Apple has skipped NFC again with its iPhone 5 recently.
What other ways do you think NFC can help you in your training or daily activities? What device or technology can you not run (or live) without? How have consumer gadgets and electronics changed you as a runner?
(Kevin Lu is an engineer, currently working in the field of orthopedic devices. He received his B.S. and M.S. in biomedical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Science, technology, and running are Kevin’s passions. In his spare time, Kevin trains for and participates in races of various distances. His recent personal records include 20:58/5K and 5:48:22/50K. Follow him on Twitter (@ SweatEngine ) and check out his blog Beyond Distance .)