ReadRFID does what the title implies: it reads RFID tags (Radio Frequency Identification Device), and displays some information about the tag (and the reader). Some RFID tags are also known as NFC Tags (Near Field Communication).


Some of the RFID tags which are avaliable, the reader below is the original tikitag reader from touchatag.

Most of the RFID stuff is done via the libnfc function-library, see, with some extensions gracefully snapped from nfc-tools, see, if you’re interested in the background.

The App was written for a very specific purpose: a tennisclub that used two sets of keys to manage the lockers with the material for the tennis fields. We are not talking about RSA-keys, we are talking about real keys with real locks.

One could get a key for the lock at a local restaurants and bar (and no, it was not a coffee shop. Although the tennis club is located in Amsterdam, that does not imply we only smoke pot). When the tennis club started some 25 years ago, there were only 20 members, so everybody knew everybody. When it became a little bigger, that was harder, so membership cards got introduced. Every year a new card was introduced, so the people behind the bar could recognize by the color and image of the card etc who was a member that specific year, allowed to play at the club and to have the key for the gates of the club

The problem was that we had to instruct the people from the bar every year again to tell them a new membership card had been introduced. Also, it seemed that people used somebody else’s card, which was not a problem until some vandalism started. Another problem was that we had to send letters each year to every member for the new card.

A lot of timewasting.

So, (since I had been dabbling with touchatag since its tikitag days and the Mifare classic card for dutch public transport) I came up with another solution: a membership card with an RFID tag, that the people in the bar could scan. Because the RFID tags have a unique id (within their own type of tag), we can now send the people a membership card once, the moment they are no member anymore, the card uid is made invalid in the database.

Also, the applications comes up with the picture of the user, so that if that picture was way off the mark, the barkeeper should notice it (I hope).

So that is what I went out to do. ReadRFID is the result. You can download the application from the Mac App store.

Although I would have liked to use an iPodTouch for the RFID reading purpose, that is not possible (at the moment). For the moment macbook with a NFC-reader does the trick. As soon as there will be an iPhone/iPodTouch nfc-enabled reader, an iOS version will follow, as soon as the iPhone is capable of reading RFID tags.

I am working on an Android version that will do the same.