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