WayAround® General

WayAround is an NFC-based information system that works with an app on your Android or iOS-based smart device. It gives on-demand details about everyday things just by scanning a smart tag placed on any object.

Click to order smart tags.

We are big fans of labeling, no matter what label you use. WayAround lets you store much more information than traditional labels do. The description can be paragraphs long (up to 2K characters). Our smart fields also let you add other details, like expiration dates, ingredients, laundering instructions, and more.

WayAround was created by Blind InSites, LLC, a company started by two architects with vision loss.

Yes, and it’s here! WayAround 3.0, released in Fall of 2019, included WayAround for Public Spaces. This powerful software gives anyone the ability to write public information. It’s great for schools, universities, museums, municipalities, and facilities that want to provide better information for everyone, especially those with vision loss.

Read more on WayAround for Public Spaces

Absolutely! Even though WayAround was created for people with vision loss, sighted people can benefit from our smart information system. Like many products created with accessibility in mind, WayAround’s focus on an effortless experience for those with vision loss results in a product that’s intuitive and useful for everyone.

WayAround App

Any modern Android phone, iPhone, and the BlindShell Classic 2 can work with WayAround by clicking the buttons below.

No! WayAround uses Near Field Communication technology, which only requires you to hold your NFC-compatible smart device close to a WayTag. No camera is required.

Any modern Android phone or iPhone can work with WayAround. WayAround uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Many devices have a built-in NFC reader. If your device doesn’t have one, you’ll need an external NFC reader, like the WayLink.

iPhones 7 and above have a built-in NFC reader. iPhone 6, 6+, SE, and earlier models either don’t have a built-in NFC reader, or Apple doesn’t allow third-party developers (like WayAround) to access it. With these models, you will need a WayLink.

Android devices vary by manufacturer and model. However, most do carry NFC readers.

Yes, we have an iPad app available! You must use a WayLink scanner since the iPad doesn’t have an NFC reader.

Not yet. We may develop an app for the Apple Watch in the future. If that’s something you would like, please let us know.

Not yet. We may develop that option in the future. If that’s something you would like, please let us know.

WayAround is only available on the BlindShell Classic 2, older versions of BlindShell are not compatible.

To get started, you’ll need to download the WayAround app from the BlindShell Classic 2 App Catalog. Then log in to the WayAround app or create an account using your email address and a password. Make sure your BlindShell Classic 2 has the latest software updates installed. Doing so can help app compatibility, and the new Bluetooth keyboard support will allow for faster email and password entry.

WayTags

WayTags are placed on items to make them “smart”.  The app reads the information from a WayTag and gives it back to you based on the accessibility settings on your device and presents it back to you as text or audibly (or both), based on your chosen accessibility settings.

Just about anywhere! WayTags come as stickers, magnets, buttons, or clips, so there’s a tag that should work for anything and everything. If you’re placing a WayTag on something metal, use a square WayTag that will work on metal.

Yes and no. There are WayTags for just about anything. One thing to keep in mind is that if an object contains metal, you will need a square WayTag. Square WayTags have a protective barrier that prevents the metal from interfering with the technology. Also, if you’re using a WayTag on something that will get wet or be stored in an extreme temperature (hot or cold), be sure to choose an appropriate WayTag. WayTag buttons are waterproof and can withstand very hot or sub-freezing temperatures. Use the popular oval-hole button with a rubber band to attach it.

Attach WayTags to anything in your business, including doors, windows, equipment, files, and more. By default, information written to a WayTag is private to the account that wrote it. You’ll need a subscription to WayAround for Public Spaces to write information that anyone can read. When you sign up, we can recommend which type of WayTag best suits your needs.

Metal interferes with NFC technology. Our square WayTags have a protective barrier that prevents the metal from interfering with the technology.

It’s not ruined. The tag won’t work while it’s on the metal object. If you place the round WayTag on a non-metal object, you should be good to go.

It’s easy. Just hold your smartphone or WayLink on top of the WayTag. Please wait for a moment, and your phone will vibrate when it has read the WayTag.

Here’s a video about reading a WayTag.

You’ll need to know where the NFC reader is located on your device. For iPhones, the NFC reader is located at the top center of the back of the phone. For Androids, it is either at the top, center of the back of the device or near the fingerprint sensor. The NFC reader is in the center of the WayLink. You may use the front or back side of the WayLink to scan, though we find you’ll get a quicker read when using the front.

Adding information to your WayTag with the BlindShell Classic 2 is easy! Follow these steps:

  1. Attach a WayTag to the item you want to label.
  2. Choose the Create button at the bottom of the mobile app. Add a description – it can be as short or as long as you want.

Select the Write button. Touch the back-center of the BlindShell Classic 2 to the WayTag. This is the area of the phone that you will tap to the WayTag to read or write information.

It’s quick – reading takes just a moment!

WayTags are about the size of a quarter or a postage stamp.

You can order WayTags from our website. We also have many distributors in the US and internationally. Most WayTags come in packs of 25. We also offer a starter pack that gives you a sampling of all the different types of WayTags.

Just about anywhere! WayTags come as stickers, magnets, buttons, or clips, so there’s a tag that should work for anything and everything. If you’re placing a WayTag on something metal, use a square WayTag that will work on metal.

Yes! Both styles of WayTag buttons are waterproof and heatproof. Be sure to use a rust-resistant safety pin to attach the oval hole button.

The temperatures used in dry cleaning should not affect the WayTags. However, some chemicals used in dry cleaning may degrade plastic, PVC, or polyurethane and can affect the WayTags’ performance. Your best bet is to check with your dry cleaner and let them know your clothes have plastic tags inside.

We recommend the oval hole laundry button. It is waterproof and can withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees F. You can loop a rubber or silicone band through the oval hole and attach it to frozen food.

We’ve formatted WayTags to work specifically with the WayAround app. We’ve added privacy and security measures to keep your information safe. Other NFC Tags will not work with WayAround.

We do not offer different color WayTags. However, you can put color dots or puffy paint on the WayTags to create a color-coded system. Doing so will not affect the readability.

Silicone bands are stretchy, just like rubber bands, but the food-grade silicone won’t snap in the cold. Silicone bands come in lots of different diameters. You can search online or visit our blog post for direct links to purchase silicone bands.

Yes, they’re both freezer-safe! The main difference is how you attach them. For the freezer, we recommend the oval hole button with a silicone band.

No. We wouldn’t recommend it.

Yes! Don’t submerge the sticker in water for an extended period (if you’re handwashing or soaking dishes), but they should be fine in the dishwasher.

The stickers have a coating, so they are quite durable.

That’s something that will be available in the future. Right now, our web portal lets admins for WayAround for Public Spaces edit their WayTags from anywhere. We plan to extend this capability to personal users at some point. We’ll keep you posted!

Information for all WayTags is stored on your phone and backed up to the WayCloud. This means anyone that signs in using the same account gets the same information from any WayTag scanned and can edit that information. There is no limit to the number of devices that can log into the same account and no limit to the number of times a WayTag can be edited.

Most phones can read the stickers on a rounded surface. Please make sure you touch your phone to the tag rather than having it hover in the air.

Index cards will work to do what you described with the rubber band. See link below for additional label options. You can put those labels OVER the WayTags, and it will still work. If you do that, keep the sticker on the paper backing and use the adhesive from the label.

Can I transfer info from one tag to another without having to retype all the info?

The WayClips are not like a chip clip. If that’s what you’re looking for, you can buy the type of chip clip you like and use a WayTag sticker. The WayClips are more like big plastic paperclips. They’re good for thin cardboard like cereal boxes and granola bar boxes.

You can use the clips like a paper clip, and the NFC portion can point either up or down. The tongue in the center has subtle notches, and you can use a rubber band or elastic with the clip. Some people use the WayClips on canned food – loop the rubber band around the can and then slip the WayClip onto the rubber band.

Here are some other ways to use the WayClips: Shoes – works great on laces, and you can remove the clip while wearing the shoes. Loop onto a keychain For houseplants – Stick the clip directly into the soil and use the tag to record watering schedules, fertilizing schedules, etc. Slip onto the skinny side of cereal boxes or other food packaging Clip onto mail as it’s sorted and record to-do items, due dates, etc.

If you scan the tag that has the information and tap edit in the bottom center, all the information will be copied. Then press the write tag and scan the new tag, and the information will be on both.

We can help get the info from your tag. Please send an email to so we can work with you directly. If you know any of the information on the tag–a keyword or phrase–that will be helpful.

WayTags have an antenna inside. We have experimented with smaller versions, but the quality goes down quickly with a smaller antenna.

Audio

If your phone is silenced, you may not hear certain audio cues. Try turning up your phone’s volume, and be sure your phone isn’t muted. Also, make sure VoiceOver or TalkBack is on.

WayAround works with the accessibility settings on your phone. Turn on VoiceOver or TalkBack to hear your information spoken aloud.

Apple acknowledged this iOS issue but has not yet fixed it. This happens in apps other than WayAround. The VoiceOver focus seems to randomly move to a new location, therefore cutting off VoiceOver before it completes speaking all of the text.

The good news is there’s an easy fix! Simply turn VoiceOver off and back on. This should fix the problem. Some users find that this works for a while, and then the issue comes back. If that happens, turn VoiceOver off and back on again, and everything should work as expected.

NFC

Near Field Communication, or NFC, is a type of wireless communication much like RFID. As the name suggests, it only works when the reader and the tag with information on it are really close together.

NFC isn’t a new technology. If you’ve ever used Apple Pay or Android Pay, that’s NFC! Our WayTags come as stickers, magnets, buttons, and clips, so you can use them just about anywhere.

It depends. If you have an iPhone 7 or above AND you’re running iOS11 or newer, then your phone’s NFC reader will work with WayAround. If you have an older iPhone, your phone may not have a built-in NFC reader, or developers like WayAround may not be able to access it. Many Android devices have an NFC reader.

Many Android phones have a built-in NFC reader. To check whether your phone has a built-in NFC reader, follow these steps from Android Authority.

  1. On your Android device, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap More.
  3. Scroll down, and you should see NFC and Android Beam options

Also, from Android Authority, if your device has NFC, the chip and Android Beam need to be activated so that you can use NFC:

  1. Go to Settings > More.
  2. Tap on the NFC switch to activate it. The Android Beam function will also automatically turn on.
  3. If Android Beam does not automatically turn on, just tap it and select Yes to turn it on.

Smartphones’ NFC capabilities operate in tandem with Android Beam. If Android Beam is disabled, it may limit NFC’s sharing capacity.

If you can use Apple Pay with your iPhone, then you have an NFC reader. However, that doesn’t mean it will work with WayAround. Apple has allowed app developers like WayAround to access the NFC reader only on iPhone 7 and above.

We’ve got you covered! Our WayLink Scanner is an external NFC reader that connects to your phone via Bluetooth Low Energy. If your device doesn’t have an NFC reader, you can use the WayLink Scanner instead.

To make NFC work, you must hold your phone or NFC reader against a WayTag. No camera is required, so you don’t have to focus on anything. The tags are 3-dimensional, so it is easy to feel where they are located.

WayLink Questions

On the WayLink’s top edge is a toggle switch and a USB port. The toggle switch has three positions:

  • When the toggle is toward the angled edge of the WayLink, Bluetooth is on.
  • When the toggle is in the center position, the WayLink is off.

When the toggle is furthest away from the angled edge, it is in USB mode.

On the WayLink’s top edge is a toggle switch and a USB port. The toggle switch has three positions:

  • When the toggle is toward the angled edge of the WayLink, Bluetooth is on.
  • When the toggle is in the center position, the WayLink is off.

When the toggle is furthest away from the angled edge, it is in USB mode.What are the lights for?

The lower-left LED light is a Communications indicator, and the upper-right LED light is a Battery indicator. When the lower-left Communication LED is blue, the WayLink is communicating in Bluetooth mode. When the Communicator LED is red, the WayLink is communicating in USB mode. When the Communication LED is off, the WayLink is off or in sleep mode.

What is the button on the side of the WayLink?

The WayLink battery remains charged for 5.25 hours or 6,345 NFC scans when in use.

The WayLink comes with a battery and a USB charging cable.

Charge the WayLink using the USB cable that comes with your WayLink. You may plug the USB connector into a USB-compatible plug or any other USB port. The WayLink takes about 50 minutes to charge fully.

Head to our User Guide for step-by-step instructions to connect your WayLink with your phone.

The WayLink uses BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy to connect to your iPhone.

Absolutely!

You can take your WayLink up to 50 feet away from your smart device.

Account Questions

Your account is used to back up all the information you have created and saved to your WayTags. Your information is stored securely in the cloud.

Your username is your email address.

You can request a password reset directly from the app or our website. You will need to know the email address you used to register.

You bet!

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