Smartrac Launch Tamper-proof NFC Tag


Smartrac have released a tamper proof version of their popular circus NFC tag. Described by Smartrac as a ‘digital seal’, the new NFC tags include a long, thin additional loop attached to the main NFC tag body. The NFC chip within the tag can detect when the loop has been broken and then display alternative data when the NFC tag is scanned.

Smartrac have called this the Circus Tamper Loop and the expectation is that the tag will be integrated into smart product packaging. When the packaging has been opened the loop will be broken. The Circus tag from Smartrac is a small form factor tag and usually measures just 22mm in diameter. The small size should assist packaging manufacturers with the integration.

“Our new Circus Tamper Loop tags enable tamper detection and authentication at the tap of a smartphone for a wide range of products – whether it’s highly effective pharmaceuticals, top-grade cosmetics, high-performance brake pads, vintage wines or Beluga caviar. We are sure that the market has been waiting for this innovative product, which perfectly complements Smartrac’s existing track-and-trace and authentication solutions”, says Dirk Boltersdorf, Head of Product Management Inlays & Tags at Smartrac.


The product itself is based around NXP’s relatively new NTAG213 TT chip. This is a variant of the popular NTAG213 NFC chip which is one of the most popular NFC tag chips on the market. The NTAG213 TT chip has additional contacts which allow the addition of the tamper loop. The chip can detect whether the loop is open or closed and can change the data presented depending on the status. It’s a simple, no nonsense approach which should mean that implementation is straightforward.

The NTAG213 is also packed with a number of additional features such as UID mirroring, scan counters and so on. The combination of some or any of these factors means that simple scan validation is easily possible – without the addition of specialist Apps.

Varied use cases

In addition to being able to detect whether packaging has been opened and therefore tampered with, the tags have a number of other use cases. Single use vouchers, discount codes and ticketing should be able to use these tags quickly and easily. In fact, any situation where a single use case scenario needs to be detected.

The ability for the tags to be scanned both within the supply chain and by the end user adds significant flexibility.