NFC - Near Field Communication


NFC or Near Field Communication is a communication technology with a very short (near) distance of only a few centimeters. It is used primarily in devices that communicate small amounts of data when very close to each other.

How Near Field Communication works

NFC works by one device known as the initator sending out a RF field that then powers the target device.

The initiator can be any type of device capable of transmitting the 13.56MHz RF signal, but it is usually a mobile phone that supports NFC.

The target device can be anything from a system that supports contactless payments to a wall poster with an RFID tag.

What is NFC is used for?

Near Field Communications can be used for:

  • contactless payments
  • wireless advertising
  • wireless data transfer such as contact information
  • linking of bluetooth devices

And anything else that requires the passing of a small amount of information quickly via close contact.

Last word

NFC builds on RFID technology and allows the passing of data between two points quickly and without actual contact but via very close proximity.

The predictions are that in the near future you will only have to swipe your hand-held communications device over a payment point to pay for something and receive an electronic receipt or ticket in return, or to hold your device near a painting in a museum to receive information on the artist.

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Article date: 2nd March 2011

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