Sunday, September 15, 2013

NFCs for the future of app development

NFC or Near Field Communication is a short-range high frequency wireless technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 cm distance. Due to its shorter range, NFC provides a higher degree of security than Bluetooth and makes NFC suitable for crowded areas where correlating a signal with its transmitting physical device (and by extension, its user) might otherwise prove impossible. NFC can also work when one of the devices is not powered by a battery (e.g. on a phone that may be turned off, a contactless smart credit card, etc.). The technology is built up on the existing RFID standards. However, there are minor differences, and NFC devices cannot interact with some of the legacy systems. Near filed Communication devices are operating at at 13.56 MHz and can transfer data at up to 424 Kbits/second. Communication between two NFC enabled handsets is started and completed with a simple proximity wave or touch of the two devices to each other.

Key Benefits of NFC

  • Intuitive: NFC interactions require no more than a simple touch
  • Versatile: NFC is ideally suited to the broadest range of industries, environments, and uses
  • Open and standards-based: The underlying layers of NFC technology follow universally implemented ISO, ECMA, and ETSI standards
  • Technology-enabling: NFC facilitates fast and simple setup of wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, Wifi, etc.)
  • Inherently secure: NFC transmissions are short range (from a touch to a few centimeters)
  • Interoperable: NFC works with existing contactless card technologies
  • Security-ready: NFC has built-in capabilities to support secure applications

NFC applications 

  • Touch and Go
    Applications such as access control or transport/event ticketing, where the user only needs to bring the device storing the ticket or access code close to the reader. Also, for simple data capture applications, such as picking up an Internet URL from a smart label on a poster.
  • Touch and Confirm
    Applications such as mobile payment where the user has to confirm the interaction by entering a password or just accepting the transaction.
  • Touch and Connect
    Linking two NFC-enabled devices to enable peer to peer transfer of data such as downloading music, exchanging images or synchronizing address books.
  • Touch and Explore
    NFC devices may offer more than one possible function. The consumer will be able to explore a device’s capabilities to find out which services are offered.

How does this work?

In NFC enabled smartphones NFC microchip (aka NFC tag) is embedded inside. This microchip can hold some memory and can communicate with any NFC tag near it. Most NFC tags are passive elements those store data for reader (for NFC enabled mobile phones) in NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format) format. When we touch our phones with any NFC forum enabled tags, actually we read the NDEF message by our application. Those happen via NFC application to protocol stack then low level driver and finally the radio frequency (RF) parts to retrieve data from tags.

To find out the applications that have already been implemented using nfc click here

To know more about nfc click here

Stay tuned for more


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