Near Field Communication Wireless Technology

Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by bringing them into close proximity, usually about 4 centimetres.

Present and anticipated applications include contactless transactions, data exchange, and simplified setup of more complex communications such as Wi-Fi. Communication is also possible between an NFC device and an unpowered NFC chip, called a “tag”.

NFC standards cover communications protocols and data exchange formats, and are based on existing radio-frequency identification (RFID) standards including ISO/IEC 14443 and FeliCa. The standards include ISO/IEC 18092 and those defined by the NFC Forum which promotes NFC and certifies device compliance.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is contactless technology that operates at a range of about 4 centimeters. Imagine waving your iPhone near a credit card reader at the counter of a mall. NFC is based on a communication standard that specifies how two devices establish a peer to peer network in order to exchange data. NFC uses electromagnetic radio fields to communicate. This is in contrast to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi which use radio transmissions. However, NFC is compatible with both technologies. It is inherently secure as the distance requirement is so close.

Near Field Communication (NFC) – Applications

The applications for NFC are exponential. Here are a few scenarios:

  1. Two NFC cell phones can exchange data by just tapping them or bring them close together.
  2. An NFC camera device could transfer photos to an NFC equipped computer or HDTV.
  3. An NFC equipped computer could transfer data to a mobile device.
  4. Use of NFC mobile device to check out and pay at a cash register – a virtual wallet.
  5. Use of NFC mobile devices to make purchases from vending machines.
  6. An NFC mobile device can pay a parking meter.
  7. An NFC mobile device can access cash from an ATM.
  8. Use of an NFC mobile device for ticketing applications.

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