Near Field Communication (NFC) is an developing technology that helps handheld devices to establish radio communication with each other by bumping together or bringing them closer, typically at a distance of 10 cm (3.9 in) or less. It allows users to seamlessly share content between digital devices, pay bills wirelessly or perhaps use their cellphone as an electronic travelling ticket on a contact-less infrastructure already in use for public transportation. NFC may also work on the devices which have no battery (e.g. a switched off phone acting like a credential, NFC compatible credit card, etc.).
The Near Field Communication uses an electromagnetic induction between two loop antennas located adjacent to each other’s communication field, effectively forming an air-core transformer. It operates in an unlicensed radio frequency, ISM band of 13.56 MHz on ISO/IEC 18000-3 air interface at rate ranging between 106 kb/s to 424 kb/s.
The initiator actively generates an Radio Frequency field that powers a passive target. This enables NFC targets to acquire simple form factors like tags or cards that don’t need batteries. Nokia 6131 was the first phone to have NFC.
Each full NFC device can work in 3 modes :
NFC target (acting like a credential)
NFC initiator (acting as a reader)
NFC (peer to peer)
Humans have created a very secure credential and data storage technology. Although it is running in its trial phases in some parts of the world, companies like American Express, MasterCard, PayPass and Barclaycard have embedded NFC contactless tech within their credit cards for a successful wireless authentication. More than 30 million credit cards are already circulating in UK with a positive feedback.
NFC chips can store data ranging from 96-4,096 bytes of memory that is typically read-only memory, however it can be changed.
Apple relies on NFC for their Apple Pay system in Iphone 6, Iphone 6 Plus and the upcoming Apple Watch.
Glimpse Of Future With NFC
If this technology is taken forward as a primary alternative to passwords and keys for authorization then NFC will be the only key you need to have with you. It can act as your house keys, car keys, and much more. Some International Countries have already started implanting it in their malls, small shops, buses and more. The potential of this technology is very high and can even replace Bluetooth in the coming future.
Some ideas which are already implemented in real world are given below:
NFC used in a Bus NFC at a ticket stamping machine A NFC enabled Parking meter