Near field communication, abbreviated NFC, is a form of contactless communication between devices like smart phones or tablets.
How it works
Near-field communication uses electromagnetic induction between two loop antennas located within each other’s field effectively forming an air-core transformer. Devices using NFC may be active or passive. A passive device, such as an NFC tag, contains information that other devices can read but does not read any information itself.
Active devices can read information and send it. An active NFC device, like a smartphone, would not only be able to collect information from NFC tags, but it would also be able to exchange information with other compatible phones or devices and could even alter the information on the NFC tag if authorized to make such changes.
Some few uses of NFC
- Commuting to the office: During the drive to and from work, NFC can unlock your car, adjust your seats, and even admit you to the company’s secure parking garage.
- At the office: Once you’ve arrived, you can gain access to your office building and clock in by swiping your smartphone or other device. Paying for snacks out of the vending machine or clocking in and out for breaks takes only seconds using NFC technology.
- On the bus: If you commute to the office, you can pay for your bus or subway pass and wave your phone to pass through the gates. Tapping your phone at a kiosk gives up-to-date information about schedules and delays, while interacting with advertisements and bulletin boards lets you access coupons or learn more about current events in your area.
- At the store: On the way home from work you stop to buy groceries. Coupons and customer reward points are already pre-loaded on your smartphone and are applied to your total automatically when you check out. Payment occurs when you wave your smartphone over the card reader and you’re ready to go without ever opening your wallet.
- At a concert: Like purchasing a bus ticket, you can purchase concert tickets and use your NFC compatible smartphone to gain access to a concert. You can also interact with smart posters at the concert for information about the band, the current schedule of events, and upcoming performances. When you’re thirsty, just wave your phone at a merchant’s register to buy a drink. Less tickets and cards to juggle makes the event hassle-free and reduces your chances of being pickpocketed.
- Hanging out with friends: Finally, when you need some down time you can share games, links, and info with friends by bumping phones. NFC can establish a Bluetooth connecting between your phones for sending large amounts of data from a further distance range than NFC covers. You can even send money to each other all with the wave of a smartphone.