Ten One Design, an Apple accessory specialist, has just announced the WiFi Porter, a small wooden NFC tag that lets your guests connect their phones to your Wi-Fi network without needing its SSID or password. Both iPhone and Android phones are supported, but iPhones released before 2018 won’t be able to use the NFC functionality and will have to scan a QR code on the underside of the Porter to connect.
Although your guests won’t need an app to connect to a network, you’ll nevertheless need to use one in order to set up the WiFi Porter in the first place. Tapping your phone against the puck for the first time will get you a link to download this app. Once downloaded, you open the app, tap your phone against the Porter, and then choose which of your recently connected-to Wi-Fi networks you’d like it to connect people to. You then tap your phone against it once more to confirm the settings, or else print a QR code from the app for use with older iPhones.
Wi-Fi NFC patches of this kind have existed for years, but the WiFi Porter is one of the first to be able to connect someone to a wireless network without requiring them to have a companion app pre-installed on their phone. Considering many of these Porter pucks are likely to end up in coffee shops and other public spaces, not having to install a new piece of software to get connected is a big positive.
Since NFC tags are unpowered, there are no batteries to change in the WiFi Porter, meaning it should work for as long as phones are equipped with NFC and QR scanners. Ten One Design is producing two different versions of the WiFi Porter, a standard model and a limited edition version with a leather finish. Both are available to preorder starting today for $39.95 and $59.95, respectively, and are expected to ship imminently.