NFC Technology: Things you should know about it

You might have heard people talking about NFC in their smartphones, or you might already being it. In both cases, this guide will help you do understand this technology better. NFC is an underestimated technology and despite of it’s huge advantage people are not using it like it should be used.

In this article we will clear some air, regarding this technology. So without wasting anytime lets get started.

NFC technology
NFC

 

What is NFC technology ?

In early 20’s  one big company called NXP Semiconductors started working together with other big companies like Nokia, Sony and Philips on new technology that can be used to quickly transfer data between two smartphones. They called this technology as Near field communication or NFC.

To develop this technology, they needed some standards, so together they founded a organization which was called nfc-forum. Which made protocols and decide standards for NFC so that it could be compatible with every phones in the market.

Basically NFC is data-sharing technology similar to Bluetooth. Please Note that I used the word similar not same, although they look similar there is huge difference between these two.

How NFC is different from Bluetooth ?

Both of these technology has the same basic usage, ie. transferring data between two compatible device but yet they are different in many ways. Let see how:

NFC is short distance (usually you have to touch two devices for it to work) but Bluetooth can work over distance distance of 100 meters. But this works as an advantage for NFC because due to short distance technology, you don’t have to waste your time pairing two devices. You can also make direct payment using NFC which is not possible in case of Bluetooth. NFC also works with NFC tags which is like a small chip while Bluetooth can’t.

Check out this awesome infographic on Difference between NFC, Bluetooth and RFID

So what is NFC tags now ?

If you have heard about NFC technology then chances are you might have heard the term NFC tags as well. These are small chip embedded in a piece of paper or plastic. Usually same size as a coin and cost around 1-2 $.

NFC tags are passive tags which means they don’t need any power supply, they get energy from the nearby device. NFC tags are sub categories on RFID tags, one which is used for tracking animals by tagging it to their body.I am sure you have seen this in Discovery channel.

What are the use of  NFC ?

With NFC we can make things easy. This technology is becoming my favorite day by day. What I mean to say is, NFC is not an essential technology but I think of it as a supplementary technology. With this technology you can still do the task you want, but with the help of NFC the process become a lot more easier.

Here are some use case on how NFC can make our life better.

If you use NFC for data transfer instead of Bluetooth then you don’t have go through the trouble of pairing two device. Just tap and BOOM your data is sent.

In America people have already stated accepting NFC payment. This means that you can pay directly from you smartphones, using your linked bank account.

I use NFC tags at my home and office for automating small tasks like turning WiFi ON/OFF. You can also program NFC tags with your phones. For eg. I have program my NFC tags to sleep profile and place it near my bed. Every night when I go to sleep I tap my phone over NFC tags and my phone automatically turns off WiFi, goes to silent mode and set alarm for the next day. And trust me it feels awesome.

How can I use NFC in  my phone ?

Unfortunately you can’t, if your phone don’t have NFC hardware built into it. But you can always buy one. If you are not sure if your device supported NFC then just Google your device model no. with NFC for like does my phone has NFC?

But If you have a NFC supported phone then I will recommend you to buy some NFC tags, they are quite cheap these days. I will suggest that you buy atleast 5-10 of them, it will cost you not more than 5-6 $ at max.

NFC is available in android, blackberry and windows phones but still iPhone don’t have NFC support in them.But since 8 out of every 10 smartphones are now android, no one cares about NFC in iPhone.

 Conclusion

Like I said, this is great technology with huge potential. It is expected that in 2018 66% of the smartphones will come with NFC supported. Many companies has already stated including this technology in their upcoming handsets. So one thing is clear that NFC has a big future for itself.

I am big fan of this technology, what about you ?

If you feel the same, then feel free to check out my other blog completely on NFC by clicking here.

 

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-