Tap and Do scenarios

There are two user scenarios areas supported for Tap and Do in Windows.

Peripheral Wireless Device Setup

Before users can use peripheral devices with Windows, they must logically connect, pair, and setup the devices on the computer. They can do this either with cables or over a wireless network.

While using cables is intuitive and effective, this often give a poor user experience because people don’t typically carry cables with them to stay connected. Meanwhile, pairing a peripheral wireless device with Windows can be a multi-step task requiring device discovery and authentication.

With Tap and Do, the user just taps the peripheral wireless device to the computer. This single action works to trigger the automatic wireless setup of the device without any other steps. The simplicity of this experience eliminates common user difficulties associated with device setup.

Ad-Hoc Interaction in the Real World

Windows does not provide a common way for users to interact with other users or the physical environment through their devices. For one user to discover another user immediately nearby, and to interact with her and what she is doing, both users must typically connect through apps that have a proprietary rendezvous mechanism through the Internet. This approach typically requires a preexisting relationship for each user with the app or service in question, and also typically requires the users to exchange some kind of identifier with each other in order to support the rendezvous.

With Tap and Do, the users just tap their computers together to create the relationship and trigger further actions appropriate to the context of what the users are doing. This simple action can initiate complex interactions between the computers. It can be used to exchange simple information, such as a URL. It can be used to trigger the sharing of more complex information on an alternative wireless transport. One example is the exchange pictures or a document over Wi-Fi. Also, it can be used by apps to exchange app-specific information, such as the identity and address information necessary to trigger activities between an app running on both computers as well as services on the Internet.

A user can also use this gesture to communicate with other devices within his own environment. For example, reading a tag on a poster or passing information from his computer to his phone or vice-versa.

See Tap and Do Use Cases for and explanation of various device interactions with the Tap and Do gesture.

NFC device driver interface (DDI) overview
Near field proximity DDI reference