This NFC pressure sensor takes advantage of the fact that a lot of smartphones now come with NFC capability built in. It uses the RF430FRL152 NFC sensor transponder made by TI which is basically a 16-bit microcontroller specifically designed to run on harvested RF energy.
This chip can not only be powered wirelessly, it can also communicate via NFC allowing you to get the pressure readings in real time, right on your phone. The pressure sensing is done using the NPP-301 pressure sensor IC. There are many different versions of this chip that each have a certain measurement range. The highest pressure you can measure with one of these ICs is 100psi. For reference, the average car tire comes in around 32psi. The version used in the PSIkick can measure up to 50psi so it’s prefect for things like tires, footballs, etc.
In order to get a pressure reading with this thing, you have to get a good seal between the pressure IC and the football (or whatever it is you’re measuring). But another design revision is in the works to make things easier and more reliable by doing away with the rigid PCB in favor of a flexible Kapton-based version. Nonetheless it is a cool idea which uses some interesting technology to do something useful. The project details are documented over on Hackaday.io, — and was a winner of the Square Inch Project. At the very least it will introduce you to two lesser known and pretty cool ICs!