AirTags Work as an NFC Trigger for Apple Shortcuts

The AirTag's built-in NFC coil can be used by the Apple Shortcuts app to trigger automations, it has been found.

airtag in hand
The functionality, noticed by iCulture, allows users to trigger Shortcuts by simply tapping the top of their iPhone on the white plastic side of the AirTag. As Shortcuts are completely user-configurable, and can be used to initiate an almost infinite number of actions, the fact that the AirTag can be used to trigger automations opens up new possibilities for automating HomeKit scenes, app behavior, and more.

The AirTag's NFC coil is intended to be used by people who may find a lost AirTag. When the AirTag has been put into Lost Mode by its owner, someone who finds the lost AirTag can scan it with an iPhone or Android device using NFC to get a link to the owner's contact details so that it can be returned. Functionality as a Shortcuts automation trigger appears to simply be a bonus use for the NFC coil.

Related Forum: AirTags

Top Rated Comments

seinman Avatar
23 months ago

cool, now you can play a sad song for those who find your airtag. 'i once was lost but now i'm found'.
No you can't. The user who finds the tag would have to have the automation already set up in their shortcuts app for that to work.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
23 months ago
cool, now you can play a sad song for those who find your airtag. 'i once was lost but now i'm found'.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MvdM Avatar
23 months ago

No you can't. The user who finds the tag would have to have the automation already set up in their shortcuts app for that to work.
You can share the shortcut to your own url, put the url in the AirTag (hardware hack needed) hope the user who finds the url has the option to run downloaded shortcuts. Include the download action of the sound in the shortcut.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
23 months ago
Solid find! Very useful feature.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DG808 Avatar
23 months ago

I’m trying to convince myself to get an AirTag to try out. I’m familiar with NFC triggers using far cheaper NFC tags. What’s an example of using an AirTag for this scenario?
The scenario that I'm now considering is placing it on a backpack and having a shortcut to trigger that turns off my lights / HomeKit stuff, switches off the WiFi on my phone, and enables Noise Cancelling on my AirPods.

I know that all of that can be done with a cheaper NFC tag, but adding the ability to locate my backpack is ideal.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
name99 Avatar
23 months ago

I've been waiting for a device like this for forever, however, I am not sure if what I am looking for is still achievable. I want to be able to walk in a room and have the lights come on and then go off when I leave based on my phone/watch proximity to such device (ie. air tag)

Yes, I know about occupancy sensors but they are based on motion. So either you set ridiculously long times or you risk having the lights shut off when you are just sitting on the couch.
If you want an OCCUPANCY sensor, as opposed to a MOTION sensor, the most reliable solution I have found is Hiome.

I've been using them for over a year now, and while the first few months were a little rocky (occasionally missed my entering or leaving a room) I guess they (silently, I never had to do anything) updated the firmware because now they are very reliable.
They appear as HomeKit Occupancy sensors, and I use them for exactly what you want. Basically my home setup is
- some lights go on in the afternoon (based on a Hue light sensor)
- all lights come on an hour before sunset (but many of them to 30%)
- when I walk into a room the 30% goes to 100%
- when I leave a room a timer starts and, after 3 minutes, they revert to 30%

To get this fancy you also need Homebridge (to provide HomeKit timers and HomeKit state variables). But for the basic concept you want, the room OCCUPANCY [without having to wave your hands every fifteen minutes]) I've been very happy with Hiome.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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