Feature

What is Near Field Communication (NFC)?

Near-field communication (NFC) allows data to be exchanged between devices via short-range, high-frequency wireless communication technology by combining the interface of a smartcard and reader into a single device.

Google Android smartphones, Nokia smartphones and Apple iPhones will have the ability to exchange information such as web links and directions as well as make payments for products using NFC technology.

What is NFC and what does it do?

  • A way of transferring data quickly between two devices such as a phone and an NFC reader
  • This means you will be able to make purchases quickly using your phone and an NFC reader
  • NFC works within a radius of a few centimetres
  • NFC will be used in Google Android and Nokia phones (see the video below)
  • NFC chips cost pennies to develop

Examples of NFC:

  • Embedding an NFC chip in a movie poster where, when you touch the phone to the poster, a trailer of the film appears on YouTube on your phone. 
  • You can embed an NFC chip into a map and, when you touch your phone to the chip, it will open the map with directions on your phone.
  • NFC will also be used to connect different devices. For example, if you have a stereo and buy new speakers, then placing them next to each other will allow them to transfer information to change the stereo's settings for optimal audio output.
  • Oyster cards and Barclay cards use RFID chips which are a type of NFC working in the same way as contactless technology.

See also:

 

 


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This was first published in January 2011

 

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