I recently bought a smartphone and among the accessories, were two bands labeled NFC tags. I had heard of NFC before but never bothered to research, but after this I got to discover the exciting world which is Near Field Communication.
What is NFC?
NFC (near field communication) is a wireless technology which allows for the transfer of data between two NFC enabled devices
What is an NFC TAG?
NFC tags contain small microchips with little aerials that store information for transfer to another NFC device, such as a mobile phone.
Xperia tags that were came with my device
Am sure you now have an idea of what NFC is and also what Bluetooth is. Bluetooth and near field communications (NFC) are two wireless technologies that most smartphones users have used to connect to another smartphone or device. Bluetooth is rather common while NFC is relatively new. Both technologies have similarities and differences, and here are some of them.
While Bluetooth can connect devices up to 10 meters or 32 feet away, NFC covers ranges of 4 centimeters. Am sure by now you are wondering why you should have the NFC technology on your smartphone. While it may seem that Bluetooth is superior in this regard, one can use both Bluetooth and NFC to suit their needs and overcome the distance shortcoming that NFC has.
Two devices connecting using NFC
NFC is fast and the user needs little effort to connect. Bluetooth takes a while with several steps to activate while NFC is instantaneous. In regards to speed, the rate at which data is exchanged on NFC is way faster than that of the Bluetooth technology.
While Bluetooth is notorious for draining battery power on your smartphone, NFC consumes very little power. This has prompted development of the Bluetooth Low Energy which is meant to reduce power consumption of Bluetooth devices. NFC allows you to share power and charge up other devices. Yes it can, through electromagnetic induction; one can use NFC to power up other devices.
Other advantages of NFC are security where the short ranges of distances that are involved ensure there are little or no interference as well as safeguarding data from hackers.
How Can we Locally Use NFC
NFC can be used in several ways locally with the major one being using our smartphones to do online shopping in a secure way. M- Pesa could use NFC for making transactions as Google wallet and I Wallet do. Users could also use NFC to pay for parking tickets at the malls, and also paying for boarding tickets at railway stations. In addition to this NFC can also be used to store patient’s information on their health. Marketing firms should also use the technology to post advertisements while the same can be applied to ensure home, car and office security. App development could embrace the technology and have financial, sports, health and a range of applications in which NFC could be used.
Google Wallet,one of the known applications of NFC. The same can be applied locally.
FUTURE OF NFC
Just like Bluetooth, NFC is out to make a mark in the world of wireless technology. As the technology is still relatively new, it is yet to be integrated the technology into many products or services. Watch this space, NFC will be knocking soon.
PS: Check This Link for NFC Enabled Smartphones http://www.nfcworld.com/nfc-phones-list/