Near Field Communication

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a very short range radio technology and is used for contactless communication between NFC-enabled devices and tags or cards. It has a range of typically no more than 4 cm and operates at 13.56 MHz. With transfer speeds of 106 Kbps, 212 Kbps, and 424 Kbps, NFC allows the exchange of small amounts of content between two NFC-enabled devices. When two NFC-enabled devices touch or are placed close enough to each other, the devices can read content from, and write content to, each other. The devices can also share files using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection handover. NFC is also used to emulate smart cards to perform transactions such as credit card payment.

NFC has many real-world applications, such as:

  • Smart posters: Smart posters are posters that are embedded with small electronic tags that store data such as URLs. An NFC-enabled device can read smart posters and act on the data.
  • Data exchange: NFC-enabled smartphones can exchange data such as electronic business cards simply by tapping each other.
  • Contactless payment: NFC-enabled smartphones can be used as credit cards.
  • Ticketing: NFC-enabled devices can be used to gain access to events, transit systems, etc.

NFC is a standards-based technology that is governed by the NFC Forum. A number of ISO standards are used in the NFC architecture, most notably the ISO 14443 and ISO 7816 specifications. For more information on NFC and its technical specifications, see the NFC Forum.

Last modified: 2015-05-07

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