xNT or xEM implant?


#1

I am about to buy my first tag and thought I should get some input from people with more experience than me. I have only toyed with RFID tags before. From what I can tell, the xEM can be written to match any other tag, allowing for cloning, and use as a ‘key’ for locks, opening cars, houses etc, but the xNT can has programmable memory so I could use it as a business card or to give instructions to a phone, etc.
The xNT seems more versatile and ultimately a better option, but can it also be used to unlock doors using a NFC reader? I assume the data cannot be compartmentalised, which means it cannot be used in this way?
Getting both seems like a big step as a first timer…?


#2

Hi @Luke

They are really two totally different products for totally different use-cases.

The xEM is a low-frequency RFID tag, it cannot be read or written with a phone or other ‘NFC’ device. It’s good if you already have something using an RFID card, like some locks, some company access badges, etc. But it’s sorta just a one-trick-pony, like if you clone a gym card onto it, then that’s all it is. And as you have read, there’s no user-memory in it.

The xNT is a high-frequency NFC tag. It can be read by NFC-capable phones, and written by Android NFC phones, and some other NFC devices. There’s NFC locks and other devices out there, and they can usually be made to work with the xNT but it depends on the device. The xNT does have about 800 bytes of memory, so yeah it can be used like an e-business card.

Which of the two you’d want, is gonna depend on your use case. If you don’t have anything specific in mind, then I’d say get the xNT. Especially if you have an NFC-capable Android phone. That will let you have the most fun.

Or just get both. lol. Stick one in each hand and then you’re all set. :smiley:


#3

It looks like the xNT can be used with Arduino, so I could always create anything I needed from scratch, if I couldn’t find the Hardwear I needed…


#4

Yeah, we’ve used Arduino and the NFC shield from Adafruit. If you search these forums you’ll find some examples other folks have done.

I’d strongly suggest you download, read, and understand, the NTAG216 datasheet if you’re going to use an Arduino to talk to it.

The NFC shield & libraries can be used to access and manipulate all the memory on the tag and if you do something wrong with the lock bits you can mess it up pretty bad.

It wouldn’t hurt to get some cheap NTAG216 tags to experiment with, like test things on those tags before writing to the xNT. I think there’s some stickertags in the Dangerous Things store, that are the same type of chip in the xNT.

TBH we ended up buying a refurb Android phone just to have access to the various NFC apps on that platform. It’s way easier and less fiddly than using the arduino stuff, but maybe we’re just lazy that way lol.


#5

My phone is the one plus 6 and I’ve already been using the NFC on it with some cheap tags, but I will get the DT tags that match the xNT. I’ve been looking through different apps to see what’s out there. I would only use Arduino for custom projects, but I will check out the data sheet, thanks :grinning:


#6

We use NFC Tools Pro for writing to tags. It lets you manage lists of records and write multiple records to the tag. It’s also pretty good for reading tags.

We use NXP TagInfo a lot, it’s great for getting all the data out of tags, eg. doing full memory dumps. Good for debugging things.

First thing tho before you do anything else, is to use the Dangerous Things app to ‘secure’ the tag. Don’t use any other apps to set passwords etc as they’ve all got some issues. IMHO.

Have fun! :smiley: