Sharing your Wi-Fi connection with visitors got much easier as of iOS 11, thanks to a pop-up asking you if you’d like to allow a visiting iOS device to join. But a new gadget makes the process even easier, and works for Android phones too …
Wifi Porter is a wooden puck with an embedded NFC chip. Use an app to transmit your Wi-Fi login to the block once, and then all guests have to do is tap their phone against it and they will be automatically connected – no action needed on your part.
The Verge notes one big difference between this and existing products on the market.
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.
iPhone compatibility is limited to the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. Although the iPhone 6 onward have an NFC chip, they were limited to Apple Pay use until the 2018 models.
There is a plan B, however – on the back of the WiFi Porter is a QR code. Scan that with the stock Camera app, and older iPhones running iOS 11 or higher will connect.
Prices range from $39.95 for a single unit, through to $129 for a four-pack. The pucks can be wall-mounted or freestanding.
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