Introduction: NFC - Frame Assistive Technology

Thinking on how we can make school spaces, especially exhibition boards, more accessible to students with low or no vision, we came up with the idea of using technology with a well-constructed description in audio with the contents of the board. This production can also be made by the students. As a solution to this issue, we prototyped an interactive small frame. It contains the English title of the treated theme, a Braille sign with the same title and 3 interactive labels with different textures.

This project was made at our Thomas Maker space during the Assistive Technology of 2019. Team: Rafael, Larissa, João Victor, Maria Vitória, Maria Eduarda, Roberta e Suzana.


  • Acrylic or wood
  • EVE
  • Felt
  • Sandpaper
  • Double sided tape
  • NFC Tags
  • 3D Printing (PLA)
  • Tinkercad (Computer)
  • Printing (paper)
  • Illustrator
  • Microphone
  • Cellphone with NFC recorder APP

Step 1: Cutting the Frame and the Textures

The first step is to cut the base that will receive the titles, the Braille tag and the NFC tags. We chose to use transparent acrylic of 6mm to look lighter and more beautiful. We did it with the laser cutter machine to cut and to mark the frames where we will place all components for easy alignment. Our Laser Cutter has 90w of power, so here are the configurations that was needed: 62% power/ 10 speed (to cut), and 11% power/ 20 speed (to mark). IMPORTANT: Laser cutters configurations vary from machine to machine, always do the cut test.

The different textures were cut in vivid and contrasting colors. We used red (felt), blue (E.V.E.) and white (sandpaper), size 2.8cm which is slightly larger than the size of our NFC tag (2.5cm). Paste the NFC tag into the frame and with double sided tape put the texture over it.

Step 2: Title in Paper

To make the title we used Illustrator software, but you can use any other software of your choice. The important thing is to put the correct size, 6.5cm wide and 3.5cm high. Try to make a very catchy and visually interesting title. Print on sulfite paper, cut and paste with double sided tape on the frame.

Step 3: Braille in 3D Printer

The Braille title was printed in 3D, in the size of 6.5cm wide and 3.5cm high and 3mm high from the base + 1mm to the balls. One tip is to print the board up in vertical so that there is no plastic left over the balls, because this makes it difficult for blind people to read.

Put this board with double-sided tape to the frame.

Braille Alphabet:


Step 4: Recording and Programming Tags

With a tablet and a microphone (it is possible to do without the microphone but the quality decreases) we record the selected content in MP3 using a recording APP, but it is possible to do it directly from the computer. We put it in a Google Drive shared folder ( and we used this link to program the NFC tag. There are several types of APP that program this tag, here we chose the "NFC tools" for Android, and we wrote in the tag in URL format.

-Record the audio and Upload to Google Drive in MP3 format
-Download the APP on your mobile

- Erase any data you may have on your NFC tag using the APP and bringing your phone closer to the tag.

- Record the audio URL in the tag using the APP and bringing your phone closer to the tag.

Step 5: New Ideas!

This NFC frame allows many possibilities of use such as facilitating the mobility of the blind people inside and outside the school if the label contains a description directing students to different places, such as the library or a bus stop. It can also be used alone as a cultural element of the school, talking about the school or with diverse content produced by the students (podcasts, references on themes, poetry, etc.). It can complement classroom work such as mock-up instructions or it can contain the rules for using a particular space. You can use even to set up cell phones to be quiet in a particular environment or to hand homework to students when they are leaving the classroom. Finally, many uses can be applied with this technology and can now be noticed by blind students, reaching even other audiences such as dyslexics, non-literate or speakers of other language.

As a second phase of the project we designed a reader independent of the cell phone, if the device does not have this technology or simply has run out of battery. We plan to do it with arduino and sensors, but it is not ready yet. :)