Introduction: NFC Luggage ID Tag

My previous luggage fell victim to the stress of travel and I found myself needing a new set. Knowing full well the new set would some day break down, I went with whatever I could find on sale. This landed me at my local wholesale club picking up a sleek, "hard shell" style set.

The new bags completely lacked any exterior pocket for a business or ID card. With a clean exterior finish and polished aluminum & rubberized handles, I didn't want to add any additional flare items like colored tape, stickers, or ribbons to the outside for visual identification.

I realized I could write an NFC tag with some personal information and stick it inside the luggage in a convenient location to scan quickly to confirm the luggage was mine.

Here's a few easy steps to get the project done.

Step 1: Program Your NFC Tag.

Items you'll need:

1. NTAG203 NFC tag. I bought ones with 3M adhesive backing a few months back and still had a few collecting dust.

2. Smart phone with NFC capabilities. I have the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.

3. TagWriter App by NXP in the Google Play Store.

Programming your tag:

1. Open TagWriter App and select "Create, write and store" then select New on the following screen.

2. Write the tag as Contact or Plain Text. I used Plain Text to use a 'password' instead of personal info, something someone else is highly unlikely to use.

3. Enter your desired information and write the tag by following the on-screen instructions.

Step 2: Place the Tag Inside Your Luggage.

Pick a location inside your luggage as close to the exterior wall as possible. My luggage has a zipper in its liner so I could adhere it directly to the wall, then zip up the liner to keep the tag hidden.

Keep in mind various materials and thicknesses may affect your smartphones ability to read the tag so give it a few test scans to make sure the tag works well before sticking it in place.

I found a spot inside the liner of the top half of the bag directly in front of the handle. This will allow me to easily grab the bag with one hand and scan it with the other.

Step 3: Scan Your Hidden Tag.

Once you've written your tag, found a concealed area to mount it, and tested it is functioning properly, put your luggage back together and scan at will.

There you have it. A quick, easy, high-tech way to ID your luggage without adding any visuals to the exterior. I enjoy a minimalist appearance and this will help me keep my luggage in line with that. Hope this helps you too.