This blog details the process required to create a NFC pairing tag for most Bluetooth devices in order to allow tap to pair without any additional software i.e. using the integrated Android tap and pair functionality. This has been tested on various Zebra Android devices using KitKat OS onwards (including Nougat). The utilities required to create the pairing barcode are included in the file set which can be deployed onto any Zebra NFC-capable Android with a preconfigured Internet connection by scanning the StageNow barcodes below and also attached to this post. The StageNow exported profile is also available at : http://moto.airsetup.com/2017/nfc%20pairing/mpos_demo.zip .
This has currently been tested for pairing with the following Zebra hardware :
- Zebra MZ/iMZ printers - need a new tag to replace the integrated tag since that has a proprietary format
- RFD8500 - should be configured to accept pairing silently in order to avoid the requirement to press the trigger to complete the pairing
- CS4070 – enable simple pairing in the config.ini file via changing the line below:
- RS6000 – the embedded NFC tag in the RS6000 is already in the correct format for this pairing i.e. to just tap to pair on a Zebra device.
- Pair target Bluetooth device manually
- Run the supplied Bluetooth Device Info app to display the MAC address for the paired device:
3. Click the device address to copy the MAC address to the clipboard
4. Run NFC TagWriter
5. Select MyDatasets and click on the import icon on the top menubar as circled below:
6. Select and hold the zebra.twdb file as shown below:
7. Sample tag will now be available for edit via click and hold on the tag entry and then select Copy and Edit from the resulting menu:
8. Edit the name/MAC address as shown below. The required MAC address can be clearing the current address and then click and hold to paste the new address (copied via the Bluetooth Device Info utility). Device class should be left to default i.e. ‘Not Set’. Click Done when edit is finished.
9. Click modified tag entry and select Write to write to a NFC tag. Uncheck the ‘confirm overwrite’ option and approach the required NFC tag to write the new contents. Apply NFC tag to target Bluetooth device. Check that device is powered on and in pairing mode (this is default for Zebra printers i.e. pairing is enabled when the device is powered on and it is not already paired with another device.
10. Make sure that target device is unpaired via Bluetooth Settings menu and that NFC is enabled. Press Home button to return to Android launcher. Read NFC tag and you should see a small toast message to indicate pairing has started and optionally , a popup asking for the PIN entry :
11. Pairing completes as expected and the device is usable for printing etc. Note that for some devices (e.g. CS4070) it may be necessary to manually press the device name in the Bluetooth list on the Android device in order to complete the connection and pairing process.
12. On older devices such as the TC55 , you may see a spurious error message below but the pairing will have completed as expected so this can be ignored.