Home Assistant Tags were introduced the fall of last year. They enabled the use of RFID tags in Home Assistant and its apps. Using an Android smartphone, iPhone, or ESPHome node, the tags could be written to and subsequently read. Since then, users have become increasingly creative in their uses. Things might not have progressed so rapidly had it not been for the Tag Reader for Home Assistant, a creation by Andrea Donno (adonno) with help coming from Magnus Øverli.
This little device contains an ESP8266 board (D1 mini), a NFC reader (PN532), an RGB LED (WS2812), and a Buzzer. It can either be bought as a prebuilt item or a do-it-yourself kit from adonno’s website. If you want to go at it alone, you are in luck, as the whole device is open-source. That means you can buy the components from wherever and 3D print a case, for which you will find STL files on GitHub. Logically, the device is powered by ESPHome and you will find the YAML file also on GitHub.
A few days ago, adonno teased the latest revision of the Tag Reader for Home Assistant on Twitter. Judging by the image, it has lost some serious weight and appears to have been shrunken down to almost half the size of the original. It’s impressively small.
How exactly the size reduction was achieved wasn’t revealed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the many ESP-XX modules were involved. Andrea Donno did also let slip that the new Tag Reader for Home Assistant could be powered using USB-C (formerly known as USB Type-C). As the ESP-XX modules don’t have Micro-USB onboard, I wouldn’t be surprised if the USB-C connector is provided by a breakout board, such as the one from Adafruit.