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NFC - What is Near Field Communication?

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology makes life easier and more convenient for consumers around the world by making it simpler to make transactions, exchange digital content, and connect electronic devices with a touch.

A standards-based connectivity technology, NFC harmonizes today's diverse contactless technologies, enabling current and future solutions in areas such as:

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Key Benefits of NFC

NFC provides a range of benefits to consumers and businesses, such as:

  • 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, Wi-Fi, 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 and Contactless Technologies

NFC complements many popular consumer level wireless technologies, by utilizing the key elements in existing standards for contactless card technology (ISO/IEC 14443 A&B and JIS-X 6319-4). NFC can be compatible with existing contactless card infrastructure and enables a consumer to utilize one device across different systems.

Extending the ability of the contactless card technology, NFC also enables devices to share information at a distance less than 4 centimeters with a maximum communication speed of 424kbps. Users can share business cards, make transactions, access information from smart posters or provide credentials for access control systems with a simple touch.

NFC’s bidirectional communication ability is ideal for establishing connections with other technologies by the simplicity of touch. For example if the user wants to connect their mobile device to their stereo to play media, they can simply touch the device to the stereo’s NFC touch point and the devices will negotiate the best wireless technology to use.

What does this mean for the end user? Easy connections, quick transactions, and simple data sharing.

NFC Tags, Roles and Signalling technologies

Within near field communication (NFC) technology exists four different types of tags, three different signalling technologies, and four modes of operation that certain NFC compatible devices can undertake.