As a former English major, I have a love/hate relationship with many books. And when I saw that this NFC-enabled charging dock project included a little book mutilation, I was suddenly more interested. Now, for those of you who have nothing against books, this is still a great project to add some style to your tech devices.
So, what's NFC?
As an iPhone user, I don't know much about NFC (near field communications) since Apple devices do not currently support it. But for those people with NFC-enabled Android phones, NFC is a feature that pretty much allows you to set any task for your phone using NFC tags (which you can buy here or on Amazon). You can program these tags to launch an app, turn off the ringer, pay for your coffee, and much more.
All you need to do is program the tag by using NFC Task Launcher, and place your phone on the programmed tag to run the tasks. For more information on cool uses for NFC tags, you can check out this article and watch the video below with CNET's Sharon Vatnin.
Now that we know how to set up our NFC tags, we can get started with the phone dock. You will need a box cutter, your USB charging cord, an unwanted hardcover book, a pencil, and an optional NFC tag.
The dock itself can be built for any smartphone following these steps, even if it doesn't have NFC capabilities. Just disregard the NFC programming part.
First thing you'll want to do is cut a small rectangle into the cover near the spine of your book. This where the USB connector will come through, so it only needs to go through the cover.
Next, you're going to make a "tunnel" for the USB cord through the pages of the book. This will require a little muscle since you will be cutting about an inch deep. Open the book and begin cutting the cord tunnel, making sure that it leads directly to the hole you made for the USB connector.
Once that is done, you can feed your USB cable through the tunnel and place the connector into the slit. If your book has a paper cover, you can put the cover back on and cut a slit where the USB cable is located.
Now, if you're using an NFC tag, you can place the programmed tag inside the cover of the book. This way the tag is hidden, and still easily accessible. If you plan on keeping the dock near your bed, you can program the tag to do things like set your alarm or turn on music.
Check out the video to see the process step by step.
Want to learn more about NFC? From hijacking a phone to sharing music just by tapping two devices together, it can do just about anything. And if you're willing to do a quick hardware modification, even an iPhone user can get in on the fun.