NFC - Not Just For Mobile Payments

Elliott Lemenager
Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM

There’s a buzz in the air around mobile technology. It’s three little letters: NFC. They stand for near field communication, which is something that’s got mobile giants, credit card companies and retailers all charged up (so to speak). You may have already heard that NFC is the next big thing in mobile payment and peer-to-peer interaction, but that’s just the beginning.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves because most people outside the tech world don’t know what NFC is or what it can do. If you fall into this category don’t worry. NFC is simple—that’s the point.

NFC is the wireless transfer of data between two devices that both contain NFC chips. It only works at a short-range (less than four inches) so it involves tapping your mobile device against a chip-embedded touch point or another cell phone. One of the most exciting things is that it’s two-way; you don’t just send information, you receive it too.

You might think NFC sounds like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and in some ways that's right, but unlike its forerunners NFC doesn’t need to be configured to pair with another device. Gone are the days of mandatory passwords and security codes. Instead it has a number of built-in security shields, like the short-range connection. In addition, because NFC is designed to transfer smaller amounts of data, it uses far less power. So you can keep it switched on all the time without it draining you phone’s battery.

The buzz around NFC is usually around mobile payments but this technology can be used in a variety of different ways. Check out how Nokia Play 360 speakers use NFC to connect phones with portable speakers. Let us know how you would like to see NFC be used in the future.



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