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Unlock Your Android Phone With Open Source Wearable NFC

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the now-attach-it-to-your-gun dept.

Hardware Hacking 81

coop0030 (263345) writes "Becky Stern at Adafruit has created a guide on how to create an open source NFC ring or other wearable to mod and unlock your Android phone. From the tutorial: 'Unlock your phone by just picking it up! No more pesky password or gesture PIN, just scan an NFC tag! This guide covers creating an NFC ring, putting an NFC tag in your nail polish, modding your Android installation to read tags from the lockscreen, and creating an automation toolchain to unlock the phone when the desired tag is scanned.' There is also a video that demonstrates how it works."

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Unlock Slashdot Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47009843)

And throw it in the frigging trash!

Unlocking a phone.... (5, Funny)

Glasswire (302197) | about 6 months ago | (#47009913)

Boy, and I'd always heard it was a lot harder than that to get an unlocked phone

Re:Unlocking a phone.... (0)

Sneftel (15416) | about 6 months ago | (#47010043)

No, most phones don't have locks on them. They wouldn't be much use, as phones are intended neither to hold valuable objects, nor to be secured to a particular location.

Re:Unlocking a phone.... (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 6 months ago | (#47010077)

>No, most phones don't have locks on them.
>They wouldn't be much use, as phones are intended neither to hold valuable objects

Are you posting from 1990? Of course phones hold valuable info and have locks on them.

Re:Unlocking a phone.... (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#47011155)

My phone only unlocks once it reaches 30,000 feet.

Excelent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47009915)

Now whoever try to get your "secret" stuff don't need to beat you with the 10$ wrench.

Re:Excelent (1)

LaughingVulcan (3511853) | about 6 months ago | (#47009925)

Yep, instead of a $10 wrench a $5 knife will now do the trick. That's progress!

Re:Excelent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47015077)

Right, because people are kidnapped and tortured for their passwords all the time. I've started wearing a shirt with my password in bold letters just to waste less time with the wrench. If only there was a group of people who worked against the torturers, that might dissuade them.

NFC Rings (3, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#47009955)

You can grab NRC tag rings fairly cheaply at most of the Hong Kong importers.

One of many examples:
http://www.dx.com/p/smart-nfc-... [dx.com]

jewelry lost too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47009985)

So now the muggers will be sure to ask for our jewelry as well as cellphone and wallet.

Re:jewelry lost too (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011309)

I believe asking for jewelry has been a trade standard among muggers for some time already even.

Wallet (2)

J-1000 (869558) | about 6 months ago | (#47010001)

You can also just put an NFC sticker in your wallet. Works pretty well. Admittedly, it's often more natural just to swipe in my pattern. And if you keep your phone and wallet in the same pocket you'll be prone to butt dialing.

Re:Wallet (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#47010197)

You can also just put an NFC sticker in your wallet.

She: "Maybe we could go out for drinks on Saturday"
He: "Let me check my schedule" - pulls out phone and waves it around near his butt - "Yeah, I'm free"
She (disgusted): "You pig! I'll never go out with you!"

Wallet may not be the best place for that tag, although it probably beats placing it in your belt buckle.

Re:Wallet (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | about 6 months ago | (#47014519)

Wallet may not be the best place for that tag, although it probably beats placing it in your belt buckle.

How about a tattoo on your johnson?

Do not want (3, Funny)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 6 months ago | (#47010041)

I don't know about anyone else, but when I pick up my phone, I want it to work. Every time. This kind of interlock just adds another point of failure. Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

If these things are ever sold anywhere, by anyone, it will be the first step in a slippery slope by which the phone grabbers will gut the First Amendment right to call anybody I want, any time. How long before the FCC demands a remote kill switch?

Re:Do not want (1)

natophonic (103088) | about 6 months ago | (#47010075)

> a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean)

No, who do you mean?

Re:Do not want (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010135)

>> a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean)
>
>No, who do you mean?

Oh come on. You know.

Re: Do not want (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010359)

Niggers, you idiot.

Re:Do not want (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about 6 months ago | (#47011747)

> a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean)

No, who do you mean?

KALI WORSHIPPERS! [youtube.com]

They want the sacrificial ring, for Swami Clang.

Re:Do not want (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010101)

I don't know about anyone else, but when I pick up my phone, I want it to work. Every time. This kind of interlock just adds another point of failure. Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

In Europe you can call emergency services from a locked phone. Not sure if that feature is crippled at your place.

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010103)

I don't know about anyone else, but when I pick up my phone, I want it to work. Every time. This kind of interlock just adds another point of failure.

Just type in the darn PIN code then. It's not the *only* way to unlock a phone.

Re:Do not want (2)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 6 months ago | (#47010107)

> Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

You mean the emergency call button that is on every recent smartphone?

Re:Do not want (-1, Troll)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 6 months ago | (#47010111)

>you know who I mean

No we don't. We're going to need more info to see if you're referencing associates of yours, or are maybe some kind of racist, since the ignorant conservatives use "thug" as code for black people, and we don't know if you're one of those awful people.

>it will be the first step in a slippery slope by which the phone grabbers

You either have a very weird sense of humor or mental problems.

Re:Do not want (3)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47010175)

No we don't. We're going to need more info to see if you're referencing associates of yours, or are maybe some kind of racist, since the ignorant conservatives use "thug" as code for black people, and we don't know if you're one of those awful people.

I have never in my life heard the word "thugs" used as a "code for black people". That's the honest truth.

I have, however, heard people who call themselves "progressives" use the term as a code for conservatives. That's also just the honest truth.

Disclaimer: I am not a "conservative," so don't waste everybody's time by going there.

Re:Do not want (0)

efitton (144228) | about 6 months ago | (#47010399)

You honestly read the grandparent and don't believe they weren't stereotyping? The fact that the grandparent was moderated to "funny" is a separate, disturbing fact in and of itself.

Re:Do not want (3, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | about 6 months ago | (#47010899)

I actually thought the grandparent was satire about gun safety (similar system for a smart gun caused death threats recently).

You may or may not think it's funny, but I highly suspect the mods knew what was going on and thought it was funny, the poster I think clearly does not think like was posted.

I'm not particularly disturbed by the mod, anymore than Jonathan Swift proclaiming we need to eat the poor.

Re:Do not want (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47010927)

You honestly read the grandparent and don't believe they weren't stereotyping? The fact that the grandparent was moderated to "funny" is a separate, disturbing fact in and of itself.

Yes, I honestly read GP and I don't see any "stereotyping".

I have honestly read your comment, and I do see stereotyping.

Since when is "you know who I mean" a racist comment? In my opinion, assuming it was racist is both racist and paranoid.

But that's just my opinion.

Re:Do not want (1)

efitton (144228) | about 6 months ago | (#47014269)

Having taught in both inner city, predominantly black schools and rural, predominantly white schools I will cop to being paranoid about racism. I see the looks, and hear the comments when people hear where I have taught. I am well aware that many racists know that they can't explicitly verbalize their racist thoughts and so couch them in a slightly twisted way and give a nudge and a nod and a "you know what I mean." So I will cop to be a bit sensitive to matters of race (maybe even a bit paranoid). That said, I am consistently surprised by how naive and sheltered most of the Slashdot membership is about racism. Or maybe they will also tell me that the Confederate flag isn't a symbol or racism. I enjoy that one every damn school year. As for assuming the grandparent was racist, how the hell is that racist? It has nothing to do with the race of the grandparent, it has everything to do with what they said and how they said it.

And it is possible that I am missing a level of sarcasm and satire with the grandparent. Maybe they are actually advocating for gun locks with biometric recognition. That said, my experience with people who say "you know who I mean" has been universally negative. In an actual conversation I frequently need to wait for less than five minutes before you hear about how "those people don't know their place anymore."

Re:Do not want (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about 6 months ago | (#47019777)

I think slashdot just has higher standards of evidence of racism etc than some other places.

For it to be true it has to be blatent and with very little possibility of error "you know what I mean" doesn't constitute that. There are plenty of other interpretations.

You have to try to not assume malice (or even ignorance) in these things. Come to them from the best possible light they could be from your perspective and goals.

Using a certain style of language can associate people with things that they shouldn't necessarily be associated with. Best to not assume ill will or malice

I think a fair portion of slashdot comes from a pragmatic line of thinking, nobody gives a crap about what race or sex a person is so long as the job gets done and well at that.

We've all encountered oversensitive people before and it can be a right pain in the ass and loss of efficiency trying to deal with them.. there's a tendency to not like enforced inefficiency from above. Things that affirmative action programs and the like can enforce.

Re:Do not want (1)

napulist (3036789) | about 6 months ago | (#47019345)

I have never in my life heard the word "thugs" used as a "code for black people". That's the honest truth.

You do know that a big part of something being "code" for something else is so that people who don't know the code don't realize it's being used that way, right?

Unless you've been living under a rock, it is probably not true that you have never heard [deadspin.com] the term [mofopolitics.com] used [gawker.com] this way [youtu.be] . I think it is true that you are fairly ignorant about racism/racial code words in present day America, which I would hope would lead you to do a cursory search about the topic [google.com] instead of posting your ignorance as some kind of an anecdotal evidence, bafflingly rewarded with upvotes.

It's one thing to not be up to date on, say, who will be offended if you don't address them as "zhe [wikipedia.org] ", but you seem to be pro-actively denying the existence of a fairly widespread racial slur, which seems indefensible to me.

Re: Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010405)

I'm pretty sure "thug" refers to niggers. Not black people in general.

Re:Do not want (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 6 months ago | (#47010137)

Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

No, I don't. But if you want to call the police, on your and anyone's phone, just dial emergency. That's available on every phone with no login.

If these things are ever sold anywhere, by anyone, it will be the first step in a slippery slope by which the phone grabbers will gut the First Amendment right to call anybody I want, any time.

Whoah, which Constitution are you reading? The one written a hundred+ years before the invention of the phone? You do not have any right to call anyone you want any time you want.

Re:Do not want (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 6 months ago | (#47010157)

Its as if I heard the sound of hundreds, nay thousands of *whooshes* all at once.

Well played sir.

Re:Do not want (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010479)

It's a comment on Gun Locks. Ahaha, most people are stupid.

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47012075)

You do know that outside your country, there's a whole world full of people, right?

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010179)

Ignorance and racism in the same post? Shocking!

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010183)

You seem to misunderstand the purpose of this mod. It is not meant to be an additional piece of security; it is meant to allow you to unlock you phone in a simpler, possibly quicker manner. You can still unlock your phone with a swipe or passcode, both of which you would need to do anyways if you had to call the police.

Re:Do not want (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#47010189)

I don't know about anyone else, but when I pick up my phone, I want it to work. Every time.

Then you shouldn't get a cell phone. What you should get is a psychotherapist to help you deal with your paranoia issues.

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011357)

Anyone who wants a cell phone shouldn't be allowed to have one.

Re:Do not want (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010861)

Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

Why would you want to call more police to your house?

Re:Do not want (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#47010957)

"Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police? "

the police will find your body when they arrive.

The LAST thing you reach for is a phone if your home is being invaded.

Re: Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47013563)

That only fits if you're a murican retard

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011285)

Any extra time added by this device would surely pale in comparison to the response time of the police, but nice try.

Re:Do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47014387)

> Suppose a bunch of thugs (you know who I mean) are in my house, and I need to call the police?

Why would you need to call them, when they're already in your house?

Re:Do not want (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 6 months ago | (#47015335)

You know you can dial 911 without unlocking the phone, right?

Missed opportunity (1, Troll)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 6 months ago | (#47010067)

Instead of putting the chip and antenna in her nail polish, she could have put it in her nose ring.

Given that my wife just found her wedding ring... (1)

natophonic (103088) | about 6 months ago | (#47010099)

... two days ago that had been missing for over six months, not sure how enthusiastic I'd be about this.

Re:Given that my wife just found her wedding ring. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010127)

You're wife didn't go back to her lover's place for six months to get it off the night stand?

Sad that their relationship seems to be breaking down.

Re:Given that my wife just found her wedding ring. (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#47011201)

You're wife didn't go back to her lover's place for six months to get it off the night stand?

Sad that their relationship seems to be breaking down.

"You are wife"?

Re:Given that my wife just found her wedding ring. (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 6 months ago | (#47010153)

I bet if you put the NFC in her wedding ring and made it the only way to unlock her phone, she'd be less prone to lose the ring!

Re:Given that my wife just found her wedding ring. (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47010191)

The mailman was clearly on medical leave.

Getting an NFC tag to play with (3, Informative)

Fencepost (107992) | about 6 months ago | (#47010113)

If you don't happen to have any NFC tags around, Shell gas stations with their Circle K convenience stores are using them as their new "loyalty" tags. You won't be able to write to them, but you can certainly read the ID out of one.

NFC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010141)

A no fucking clue ring? Isn't that a man's wedding band?

Re:NFC? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#47011205)

A no fucking clue ring? Isn't that a man's wedding band?

National Football Conference

Is It Objectification...? (0)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 6 months ago | (#47010165)

If I say, "Chicks who root their phones are hot," is it objectification?

If so, is it: A. because I used the word, "chick," B. because I'm focusing on a single characteristic, rooting a phone, instead of the whole person, or C. because I'm implying that the most important thing about a woman rooting her phone is that it increases her sexual attractiveness?

Re:Is It Objectification...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010423)

If I say, "Chicks who root their phones are hot," is it objectification?

If so, is it: A. because I used the word, "chick," B. because I'm focusing on a single characteristic, rooting a phone, instead of the whole person, or C. because I'm implying that the most important thing about a woman rooting her phone is that it increases her sexual attractiveness?

I'd say (C) is the primary problem (going straight to the person's value as a sexual object is the definition of objectification), although the other two aren't great either.

Re:Is It Objectification...? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about 6 months ago | (#47019821)

(going straight to the person's value as a sexual object is the definition of objectification)

Actually it has to do with their sense of agency. Agents can affect their surroundings, whereas things simply happen to objects, they are victims unable to affect anything.

In this sense a lot of people self labelling themselves as feminists are objectifying women a lot at times.

Re:Is It Objectification...? (2)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#47010425)

It's objectification only if you think it adds any accessor methods to them.

Re:Is It Objectification...? (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#47011227)

It's objectification only if you think it adds any accessor methods to them.

I prefer functional girls.

Re:Is It Objectification...? (1)

cstacy (534252) | about 6 months ago | (#47015021)

It's objectification only if you think it adds any accessor methods to them.

I prefer functional girls.

Yeah, they don't have any side effects or hidden state.

Enjoy your tail calls!

It's easier than you might think. (3, Informative)

Stealth Dave (189726) | about 6 months ago | (#47010269)

I've been doing this on my Galaxy S3 for over 9 months now using an NFC tag glued to my watch band. All you need is a rooted phone running Android 4.0.3 and above and a willingness to install an XPosed plugin or two. This link has all the details:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/xposed/modules/mod-nfc-unlocking-based-t2478163

TL;DR Steps:

  • ROOT YOUR PHONE (You'll have to Google this one yourself)
  • Install XPosed Framework [xposed.info]
  • Install NFC Lock Screen Off Enabler [xposed.info] module (you can find it in the Modules section of the XPosed Installer app)
  • Turn on NFC in lockscreen or screen off modes as desired
  • Register your NFC Tags to unlock your phone

Much easier (and safer, IMO) than installing a modified system apk, and this method can also survive system upgrades provided that you maintain root. It will launch whatever action is set for that NFC tag (link, text, app, whatever), but you can use another XPosed module [xda-developers.com] to supress the "Empty Tag" message on empty tags, if you so desire.

The Adafruit link from TFA has some interesting ideas on how to squeeze your NFC tag into some interesting places, and you can also buy some pretty small NFC tags on your own. I bought 20 Midas nTag NFC tags on Amazon for $13 with Prime shipping, and they measure 19mm x 12mm. You can shave another 2mm off of either dimension if you're very careful with the trimming. That was more than small enough to fit on the clasp of my watch, or on the back of a plastic watch band.

Re:It's easier than you might think. (1)

ElectraFlarefire (698915) | about 6 months ago | (#47010505)

I'm already running that, been fiddling with it.. And with my implantable NFC tag(https://dangerousthings.com/shop/xnt-ntag216-2x12mm-glass-tag/) showing up two days ago.. I'm looking forward to saying good-bye to both keys and unlock screens forever! Or at least until I find something I can't enable.. :)

I'm in love (1)

ememisya (1548255) | about 6 months ago | (#47010395)

This is simple, and brilliant. Also much better than injecting an NFC tag under your skin, which was the previous approach to the same idea last I read. Kind of the downside of a male dominated tech industry, nobody thinks up stuff like nail polish :)

Re:I'm in love (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#47010509)

I've been using black nail polish for years to cover blue LEDs on consumer electronics.

Re:I'm in love (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#47011265)

I've been using black nail polish for years to cover blue LEDs on consumer electronics.

The real question is; why do you have blue LEDs on your fingertips?

Re:I'm in love (2)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | about 6 months ago | (#47012003)

For wanking purposes. It's like fucking a router.

or

Why not? ;)

Re:I'm in love (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#47014459)

For wanking purposes. It's like fucking a router.

or

Why not? ;)

I suppose a lot of people need an internet router for wanking purposes...

Re:I'm in love (1)

ElectraFlarefire (698915) | about 6 months ago | (#47010527)

I don't know.. I'm getting my implant because it makes it very hard to break and /very/ hard to loose! It also makes the range very short so it's hard to steal an unwanted scan of.. A single $100 implantable NFC tag will last much longer than 10 tags attached to your nails that keep growing... :)

Re: I'm in love (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011019)

Lose

Learn to spell you god damn faggot.

Re:I'm in love (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 6 months ago | (#47011249)

The tag you bought is smooth glass and it WILL move around in your body and cause problems.
Then there's the danger of it being damaged.
I seriously recommend that you do NOT go ahead with your plan.

Re:I'm in love (1)

ElectraFlarefire (698915) | about 6 months ago | (#47011441)

Compared to some of the other stuff I've done and had done to me this is pretty safe. At least it's not removing slivers of metal. And I know folks with this and much more extensive body-mods done and they have no problems. It's done in a very specific location I intend to follow the advice of
And the smooth glass might make it easier to move, it also makes /much/ easier to remove later and reduces the chance of damage, or at least damage that will still leave me with a hand afterwards.. And of course, if it causes problems, it'll come out and will be a failed experiment.

I've lost too many keys, tags and forgotten too many passwords for this to not be useful.

Dammit! Not for me. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010773)

I live in Pittsburgh, an AFC city.

We never get the phone goodies.

Inject an rfid chip into your hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47010973)

That seems most reasonable to me. i dont wear rings but i do wear hands ... uptil now anyway

Pebble (2)

phorm (591458) | about 6 months ago | (#47011101)

Pebble has an app that does something similar with Bluetooth. So long as your Pebble (watch) is in range and connected via BT, the phone is unlocked. As soon as it loses the connection it's back to pin-unlock mode.

Pick up phone to unlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47011129)

Android doesn't have this as an option?

That's funny. The next release of Blackbery's OS (10.3) will have this.

Re:Pick up phone to unlock (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#47011277)

The idea here is that the phone only unlocks for you. If it unlocks for anyone that picks it up... well that isn't much of a lock, is it?

Motorola Skip (2)

JStyle (833234) | about 6 months ago | (#47012571)

For a number of motorola phones, this feature is already available. For $10, you get a clothing clip and 3 RFID stickers. Tap the phone to any of them, and it unlocks.

http://www.motorola.com/us/mot... [motorola.com]

Mugger business plan (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about 6 months ago | (#47012661)

1. Lure a new victim using latest NFC Android smartphone
2. Chop off hand wearing NFC ring and holding the smartphone
3. ???
4. Profit!

Security (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 6 months ago | (#47014497)

How secure is it? How easy is it to impersonate the NFC tag?

NFC implant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47015747)

Since yesterday i'm using xNT implant to unlock my phone and its as fast as 5 point gesture unlock i used previously.
and i wont forget to wear my wing ...maybe if i forget to bring my hand ....

Subdermal implant (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about 6 months ago | (#47044341)

I'd very much have a [professionally installed] subdermal RFID implant in my hand. There's no way I can loose it, and no matter the situation, I can always unlock my phone.
There's no such thing as "I got so drunk I lost my hand last night.". In case of really nasty accidents, you always have the classic pin-code anyway.

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