We’ll define anything and everything that you need to know about it. NFC- Near Field Communication is a series of protocols, enabling smartphones and other devices to establish a radio contact when brought under a proximity range of other NFC enabled device. It can be a very useful feature and a bright future can be expected from this tech. Let’s take it easy. Start from the beginning.
What is NFC?
The name very much gives an idea- Near Field Communication is a standard for portable devices. It allows devices to pass on the data when placed close(to a distance of typically 10 cm or less) or touching with another device. It doesn’t require a field. It evolved from Radio Frequency identification procedure(RFID) which uses electromagnetic induction within a short span to transmit information. In that case, it appears similar to Wi-Fi or bluetooth as it uses radio waves for device communication. But is it really so? Apparently not as NFC enables induction of electric current (unlike other protocols like Wi-Fi and bluetooth and like RFID). Isn’t it cool? Now lets take an overview over how it works.
How does NFC works?
NFC technology takes into account electromagnetic induction between two antennae of NFC enabled devices just like any other proximity card or device using globally available non-licensed radio frequency ISM band of 13.56 MHz on ISO/IEC 18000-3 air interface and at rates ranging from 106 kbit/s to 424 kbit/s which means NFC can transmit data at either 106, 212 or 424 Kbps (kilobits per second).
NFC standards are set by a group called NFC forum which was found by Nokia, Philips semiconductors(NXC Semiconductors in 2006) and Sony.
- NFC can work in 3 modes.
- NFC Reader/Writer.
- NFC peer-to-peer communication.
- (P2P mode) NFC card emulation.
NFC Reader/Writer mode: This mode allows NFC enabled devices to read information on smart posters or NFC tags embedded in labels.
NFC P2P mode: This mode allows 2 NFC enabled devices to communicate with each other and exchange information.
NFC card emulation mode: This mode allows NFC enabled devices to perform operations like payment and ticketing, using your smartphone as a smartcard.
Now there arises a question if that is safe and secure? The security risks with NFC are manageable, and not avoidable. For instance, if someone reaches close to your device with a NFC reader, one can read your NFC contents. But don’t you think it’ll be noticable someone trying to crack through your contents using a NFC reader inches away from your smartphone? Still, its an issue worth mentioning.
Nasty applications is one another threat to your smartphone which can allow some untrusted developer to surf through valuable information including your credit card details in your phone. Though google play and Apple iTunes pay immense attention and check out most of the unwanted apps but nothing can be 100 percent trusted. This is one more reason which makes your device even more vulnerable to theft and even more valuable by putting all your payment info at one place.
Is it important to have NFC enabled phone?
In my honest opinion, I’d say no. But it has huge potentials. If ever you’d like to use your phone as an e-wallet, a travel card or home-automation remote control, expect it to be in every phone. Transferring contacts via touch is nice but not important. But the day mobile phones would be used for making payments, NFC will be a big deal.
If you wanna be sure if your smartphone has this feature, you can visit http://www.nfcworld.com/nfc-phones-list/. Chances are, if you have a high end smartphone, it might be having it.