Native NFC Support


Yay! Same antenna, but I previously had it connected to the BT connector. Moving it to the back worked! I’m super excited to dig in.


@eugene0501 Now that the code is working with an active NFC tag, is it possible to read a passive NFC tag?

I have several types of passive NFC tags like stickers, key fobs, transportation card, etc. One I know is an NXP ntag213, for example.

Such would require the Antenna to power the non-powered passive tag so the tag can emit the data back to the antenna, just as the Android phone does when reading these tags.

Testing the tags and looking at the Device OS NFC code I do not see an NFC_EVENT_WRITE event that would receive data from another tag, the opposite of the READ event that transferred data from the Xenon to the mobile phone.

The story I’m trying to implement is to have the Xenon read a passive NFC tag.

Thanks! Aaron


I’m afraid we can’t, we only support emulating a NFC type2 tag, you can’t use it to read any tag. ¯(°_o)/¯


Gotcha. I would suggest updating the feature specifications to explain the limitation you can’t use it to read any tag. Right now it just says NFC-A radio, but I would suggest Acts as a passive NFC tag that can transfer data to a mobile app or something like that. I realize that is a different department so the note is for others listening.

Still very useful to allow a device administrator to the read the state of sensors with a mobile phone, etc. It just isn’t possible to know if anyone has visited the device…like security guards or students walking to school in my case.

I will be pursuing integrating an active NFC tag reader into the mesh products that can read a passive NFC Type 2 tag. Something like Solo Mifare for RFID. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

It’s worth noting I have clarified my use case with Particle engineers multiple times since last summer which led me here to continue the investigation since nobody could give an exact answer. Thanks @eugene0501 for flushing out the reality so I can focus on a solution that will work.



Successfully Scanned NFC Tag with Argon and MFRC522

Thanks for the clarification @eugene0501

I was wondering if reading or writing tags is a limitation of the nRF52840 chip or whether the lack of support is more of a software choice?



It’s a software choice, the NFC driver of SDK15.0 which is used in device OS is a beta version, it has changed a lot in the new SDK 15.3. We Implemented basic NFC function (Passive Tag, read-only mode) for the first phase.


Please could you give me an update on the status of NFC support for Argon – any idea when this will be released as part of the standard Particle software (which I guess is “Wiring” as mentioned above) ?


@Pertspider, both BLE and NFC are being Alpha tested as we speak. I suspect a release candidate will be released very soon.


OK that’s great news, thanks for the update !


Awesome news !


As a follow up, Particle documentation now explains the limitations appropriately.

Particle Gen 3 devices only support emulating an NFC tag. They cannot locate or communicate with tags themselves, or support protocols such as for NFC payments.