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Nowadays, NFC has become a commonplace. Thanks to the growth of the digital payment system. You may have heard of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and other digital wallets for iPhone and Androids. It is a boon for hundreds of thousands of stores and online retailers. But one may not know what NFC is and how one can use it.
NFC stands for Near Field Communication and as the name indicates, it allows short range wireless communication between compatible devices. This requires at least one transmitting device, and another to receive the signal. It enables the users to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect electronic devices by touching the devices together.
NFC standard devices can be of two types, either passive or active.
Passive NFC Devices:
This type of devices include tags, and other small transmitters, that can send information to other NFC devices without the need for a power source. However, they don’t actually process any information sent from other sources, and can’t connect to other passive components.
Active NFC Devices:
Active devices can send and receive data and can communicate with each other as well as with other passive devices. Smartphones are by far the most common implementation of active NFC devices, but public transport card readers and touch payment terminals are also good examples of this technology.
How does NFC work?
This technology evolved from radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that combines the interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device. It allows users to seamlessly share content between many digital devices, pay bills wirelessly, etc. An NFC chip operates as one part of a wireless link and once it is activated, the data can be transferred between the two devices when they are held 3-4 centimeters from each other.
No pairing code is necessary to link up and because it uses the chips that run on very low amounts of power (or passively, even less), it’s more power-efficient than other wireless communication types.
Uses of NFC between devices:
Digital Wallet: You can make payments by placing your smartphone within 3-4 inches from the Pay Pad or contactless reader and will prompt you to confirm payment. It also works with Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
Sharing between Android devices: When two NFC-enabled devices are in range, a prompt will appear, if you would like to Beam content like videos, contact information, or photos to the other Android device. However, it is a little-known feature.
The Future of NFC:
The world as we know is changing with this new NFC technology; you can see such NFC tech in more and more places. For example, some phone companies are making tattoos with embedded NFC chips to store the information for future use. I am sure that you would have seen Pizza Hut’s own NFC’s tattoo, which allows people to order their favorite pizza within seconds. In some cities, they offer payment options through parking meters. So, in the future, we expect that most of the transportation system will utilize NFC. Amazon Go grocery is also a good example of NFC technology, as they provide a quick and convenient payment option to users, as they no need to carry their cards to transact.