Getting Started on Near Field Communication (NFC)

pigsabusiveElectronics - Devices

Nov 29, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)


Getting Started on Near Field Communication (NFC)

You may have seen recent TV commercials or shows that depict people using phones to transmit
data between mobile devices with a single touch, or diners using their phones to make payments for
meals. Wonder
what technology is behind all these feats?

Well, it's all thanks to NFC and with

so many new devices s
porting this technology, from a variety
of smartphones and tablets, to


and even

home appliances

like the

fridges and washing
s, we thought now's a good time for a nice primer on this subject matter, how it wor
ks and
what it means for you


What is it?

Near field communication, also known as NFC, is a form of wireless communication
technology between modern mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Physically,
the concept is fairly similar to

1. H

you would use the EZ
Link card locally;

2. Y
ou tap or bring two devices close to one another to exchange information.

However, unlike the stored value EZ
Link card, the phone helps conduct the transaction
between the devices such as configuring them for
usability or conduct a cashless payment
via an e

How it Works

NFC is basically an evolution of radio
frequency identification (RFID) technology. It uses
magnetic field induction to enable communication between devices which are close

Modes of Operation

There are two modes of operation: active and passive. Active mode (initiator) means that
both devices generate their own radio fields to exchange data, while passive mode
(reader/writer) involves one device creating a radio field and the

other using load
modulation to transfer data.

An example of an active mode is the peer
peer sharing between NFC
smartphones. In the Samsung Galaxy S III video ad below, the wife wants to share a video
with her husband. Her phone acts as the
initiator by sending out an invitation to connect
while his phone is the target receiving the data.

On the other hand, an example of a passive mode is using a smartphone (reader/writer) to
tap on a NFC tag. In the Xperia

Smart Tags promo video below, the individual is seen using
his Sony Xperia S to tap on several NFC tags to launch pre
configured apps and actions
everywhere he goes.

Uses and Functions

NFC is widely believed to lead the next frontier in cashless paymen
ts. As such, NFC is
usually associated with the term, "mobile wallet". Consumers can make their payments
using their phones in restaurants, public transport's networks and supermarkets. Different
countries have various applications of NFC, some of which ar
e really interesting.

Countries such as San Francisco use

NFC for their parking meters
. Parking meters have
NFC stickers on them, which have unique identifiers that inform the app on NFC phones
which exact meter does it correspond

to. This allows drivers to save the hassle of entering
the meter number and eradicate any mistakes as well.

Japan, one of the few countries in the world where NFC is widely adopted, is believed to
have launched the first commercial service worldwide th
at enables passengers to use

NFC phones as boarding passes

for its Japan Airlines.

Several car manufacturers also explored the concept of NFC car keys. In April 2012,

collaborated with Vingcard
, a hotel key card specialist to develop a way fo
r its drivers to
book a hotel room from its cars, download the room key to an NFC
enabled car key and
receive special promotions.

Hyundai recently demonstrated its NFC car key concept

it not only allows an NFC phone to lock or unlock a car, but also
sync data and preferences
from the

car's infotainment system to

the driver's phone.