Group of people with smartphones in a huddleYou’ve probably heard of NFC because of your phone or because of Samsung and Android’s online payment system. The technology is also used in ticketing systems, credit cards and marketing campaigns. Just this September, Nike released an NFC-integrated Chelsea football jersey that gives their fans exclusive deals.

Many businesses have found NFC so useful that it has become more accessible − you can now order NFC products online.

But what is NFC? And why is there a need for another wireless communication technology?

The Basics of NFC

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. As you may have experienced, it allows devices in a certain proximity to communicate without wires or internet connection.

The technology NFC uses evolved from radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. The NFC devices have a chip that sends and/or receives small amounts of data. NFC does not require pairing codes and its chip runs on low amounts of power, making it more efficient and easier to use than wireless communication.

The challenge with NFC, however, is that devices can only communicate when they are a few centimetres away from each other.

Which leads us to the question, why then was this technology developed and why is it continuously used if we already have Bluetooth and WiFi?

Enabling Faster Connections with Less Power

A key advantage of the NFC is that it consumes much less power. In fact, passive NFC devices do not have their own power supply. Passive NDC components such as advert tags, for example, are powered through putting an active NFC component near it. How? The proximity of the two creates an electromagnetic field that produces enough electric current to power the passive system.

READ  Protecting Your Website Database

Another advantage of NFC over other modes of wireless connections is that it offers faster connectivity because of its inductive coupling. Bluetooth is already relatively fast but the absence of manual pairing and the actual connecting speed of NFC devices (a tenth of a second) makes the NFC superior in this aspect.

The Verdict?

Near field communications may have its limitations, but its fast connectivity, and its operation with minimal to virtually no power makes it ideal for mobile payments and advertising.