NFC: what is it? Here is everything you need to know.
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NFC: what is it? Here is everything you need to know.

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-03-06      Origin: Site

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. Data is shared and received wirelessly between an NFC reader and an NFC tag using short-range radio waves.

NFC chips are small and must be embedded in a carrier. Different carriers are used by manufacturers, including cards, key fobs, wristbands, phones, and bracelets.

When an NFC tag comes close to a reader (approximately 4 inches), its magnetic waves are excited. Data is released in the form of signals as a result. Here's what you need to know about NFC if you still don't understand it. Keep reading.

A Brief History of NFC

During the early 2000s, Sony and Philips developed NFC technology. It uses radio-frequency identification (RFID), a similar technology that has been used to identify items, such as pets or warehouse stock, for decades.

In NFC, communication takes place in the near field since two devices can only communicate if they are within a few inches of each other.

There are different types of NFC devices, such as contactless tags, cards, key fobs, stickers, and smartphones. "NFC-A" (for Android) and "NFC-B" (for BlackBerry) are the two main NFC standards. Several other types of NFC technology exist in addition to type A and type B. There are two types of NFC-FeliCa: NFC-V and NFC-FeliCa.

They differ in terms of communication speed and range, but all use radio waves. Additionally, they may differ slightly in the way data is stored and exchanged.

Components of NFC Technology System

There are 3 main components of this technology:

Reader or Initiator

Writer or Target

Card or Tags

NFC readers, also known as initiators, read and write information to targets. The device is able to convert radio waves into digital bits by emitting an electromagnetic field and receiving incoming waves from another device.

A writer or target receives commands from an initiator and stores the information in a secure key that is only accessible by the target. As a result, data can't be accessed or modified.

Card/tag embedded with an NFC chip allows users to access applications or send data by simply touching their smartphone on another NFC-enabled device (e.g., door, ticket). Smartphones can use NFC tags to read and write data using this technology.

Small and large amounts of information can be stored on NFC tags. It is possible to store information such as product details, login credentials, website URLs, and contact details.

How Does NFC Work? A Detailed Analysis

It is based on the principle of magnetic induction that Near Field Communication (NFC) works. When an alternating current is passed through a wire, its waves of energy are emitted at right angles to the wire. An electromagnetic field oscillates between two terminals or flows rapidly between them.

Radio waves are emitted by an NFC chip at a frequency of 13.56 MHz. Signals are wirelessly transferred over an antenna in an NFC reader when the waves pass over it.

Two magnetic fields work together to transfer information through mutual induction. During electromagnetic waves, an initiator sends out electromagnetic waves, while a target receives them.

As electromagnetic waves are absorbed by the target device, a coil of wire can be recharged with energy. As well as transmitting its ID number, it receives data from the reader via radio waves.

Wireless devices can communicate with each other without having to connect via cables or wires since they are both wireless. EXECUTE_TRANSFER is the format for communication between them. Sending data from the initiator to the target means receiving data at the target. The NFC Forum has developed a set of standards that NFC devices must adhere to in order to work:

NFC Technology Standards

NFC was originally governed by ISO/IEC 18092 (NFCIP-1). The regulations were extended to include ISO/IEC 21481 (NFCIP-2). A seamless use of radiofrequency communication is also ensured by ISO/IEC 15693 and ISO/IEC 14443, which ensures data exchange and logistics management using radiofrequency communication.

The NFC Forum was formed in 2004 after NFCIP-1 was established by NXP. For a seamless integration of the technology on mobile devices, Sony Corporation and Nokia Corporation were also incorporated.

Several regulations were formulated by the NFC forum so that manufacturers could produce items that met its specifications. This ensured compatibility between devices, allowing both parties to benefit from the technology to the fullest extent possible.

Several of the NFC Forum Standards include:

NFC-A and NFC-B are contactless IC card standards that adhere to ISO/IEC 14443. Data exchanges are protected by it.

It is also referred to as FeliCa technology or NFC-F. ISO/IEC 18092 and JIS X 6319-4 were used to develop it.

Based on ISO/IEC 15693 wireless communication between devices, NFC Forum developed NFC-V.

This standardization is primarily responsible for ensuring international communication device compatibility. In this way, users can use one technology with another company's products.

Bluetooth and Passkey Entry are also compatible with NFC. Users of NFC-enabled phones can access a wider range of functions with these compatibility levels.

How Is the Information Transferred?

Electromagnetic waves are used in NFC technology to transfer information. This allows low-power devices to communicate without being physically connected through cables or wires. Due to its 13.56 MHz frequency, NFC is considered a high-frequency technology.

Most mobile phones are compatible with NFC tags, which are small in size. NFC tags usually take the form of stickers, which can be stuck to any surface. In order to carry more data, some are larger than others to suit different purposes.

An NFC tag is generally a thin, 1x1 cm sticker that can be attached to anything from a smartphone screen to clothing or posters. With these tags, you can send information to others simply by waving your phone at the tag.

On one side of NFC stickers are printed circuits with an NFC chip, antenna, and batteries to power them. The stickers are made from paper or plastic. For sticking to surfaces, the other side may be covered with adhesive.

Applications of NFC Technology

A process called peer-to-peer data exchange enables smartphones and other devices to communicate through NFC technology.

Using this technology, users can conduct transactions, purchase tickets, and network socially. Various uses of NFC are outlined below:


The NFC payment method involves making a tap-and-go payment with an NFC-enabled credit or debit card. No CVC numbers are required, and the process is simple.

Touching their mobile device against an NFC terminal is all it takes. The transaction will be completed automatically once the device detects the information stored within it.

Peer-to-Peer Data Exchange

Files are sent and received between devices using NFC peer-to-peer data exchange. As a share action (Android) or through an app such as Android Beam (iOS), this type of data exchange can be configured. Simple to follow;

Tap the sender device against the receiver device, select the file you want to send, and wait for it to be completed.


By placing their mobile devices on special NFC-enabled readers at the theater's entrance, moviegoers can use NFC ticketing to gain entry into a theater. It eliminates the need to carry tickets or worry about losing them.

Furthermore, the technology is being used to manage tickets in public transportation. The result is a greater efficiency and a reduction in losses due to delays.

NFC-Enabled Passports

National Passport Cards with Near Field Communication technology were launched by the United States Department of State at the end of 2006. Using a tap-and-go device, users can access their passport information, facilitating overseas travel and banking transactions.

Security is another reason why other countries are adopting the technology. Governments can track visitors' movements using NFC-enabled passports. In this way, criminals cannot sneak into the country undetected.

Automated Hotel Processes

The use of NFC technology has automated check-in and check-out processes at many hotels and resorts. It is as simple as this:

Follow the instructions on your phone after selecting your device and tapping it against the terminal.

Social Networks

Through social networking, staying in touch with friends around the world has never been easier. Listening to music or sharing pictures with friends is easier with NFC.

Mobile Phones

Many smartphone manufacturers have started integrating NFC capabilities into their devices due to their low power consumption; this makes it possible for users to pay their phone bills wirelessly

Public Buildings & Event Venues

With just one tap of the device, NFC readers installed in public buildings and event venues enable secure access control. Visitors no longer need to carry physical entry cards, simplifying the process of entering and leaving these locations.

Ticketing Machines & Service Kiosks

Customers can quickly swipe their cards against ticketing machines and service kiosks using NFC technology. A PIN code or biometric authentication is required to maintain security

Retail Stores

For contactless payments, NFC eliminates the need for customers to manually enter payment details every time they make a purchase. Customer experience at retail stores is greatly enhanced as a result. NFC tags can also be used by retailers to deliver targeted promotions on their products or services, allowing customers to take advantage of loyalty programs.

Benefits of NFC Compared to Other Wireless Technologies

In comparison to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, NFC has many advantages. Here are some comparisons:

Distance between a proximity connection and the target. NFC technology allows you to connect your mobile device to another device at close range (maximum 10 cm). NFC uses a peer-to-peer connection, which automatically pairs devices together at close range, so it does not have a range problem.

The process of connecting to other devices. With NFC, you can wirelessly connect your phone to other devices and transfer data between them. Adapters are required to connect Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices.

An easy-to-use interface. The user does not need any special skills or knowledge in order to use NFC. Anybody can use the technology without much difficulty.

A security system. In comparison to other payment technologies, NFC offers an extra layer of security since each user must authenticate their identity with a unique PIN code or biometric. Even if someone gained access to the device, they wouldn't be able to access the stored information without the correct credentials.

Inexpensive. When configured, NFC is much less expensive than Bluetooth or Wi-Fi since it is a low-power radio frequency technology. Taking advantage of these features can save businesses money on overhead expenses without requiring extra equipment to be installed.

Provides convenience. With NFC, customers no longer have to manually enter their payment details into the terminal when making a purchase, making payments faster and easier than ever. Furthermore, users can exchange data quickly between apps on different platforms without having to enter any additional information manually.

Flexibility. Due to its flexibility and scalability, NFC can be used for a wide range of applications, including contactless payments, but also more creative uses, such as digital keys and access control in public buildings and events.

Reliability. With its short-range capabilities, NFC ensures accuracy in transactions as there is no possibility of interference from devices outside the communications range; this reduces fraud risks while preventing errors in customer data entry when making payments or sharing sensitive information between devices/readers in a secure and timely manner.

NFC vs. Bluetooth – What’s the Difference?

There are many similarities between NFC and Bluetooth. In both cases, radio waves are used to connect devices at close ranges. It is important to note, however, that the two technologies differ significantly in some ways:

The distance. Using NFC technology, devices can automatically pair with each other for fast data transfer (approximately 10 cm). A Bluetooth connection can be made from a distance of up to 10 meters thanks to its wider range.

A security system. There is a greater level of security with NFC than with Bluetooth. NFC technology features security, as each device encrypts the data it transmits. In spite of hackers intercepting your information, they would not be able to decrypt it.

The speed of the transfer. Due to the fact that Bluetooth was not designed for mobile devices, data can be transferred faster. Since NFC devices can only send and receive a limited amount of data, their transfer speeds are much slower than Bluetooth's.

The operating frequency. Bluetooth operates at 2.45GHz while NFC operates at 13.56 MHz. In this way, NFC can transmit and receive more data at a faster rate, making it a better choice for mobile devices.

Platforms that Support NFC

Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Sony are all working on integrating NFC into their devices in the United States and around the world. Most Android phones today support NFC technology for fast data transfer between devices. NFC is available on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The NFC technology can also be found in many modern smartcards, bank cards, passports, transit cards, mobile phones, laptops, and other consumer electronics devices.

NFC’s Future Potential

It is likely that NFC will continue to be integrated into smartphones as they become more common household items. Stores, restaurants, and virtually everywhere will be able to use NFC as a form of faster payment once this integration takes place.

NFC may also be used for more serious applications in the future, such as making electronic payments without a credit card. In addition to security concerns, this could revolutionize society's way of conducting business.

NFC is currently integrated in millions of point-of-sale terminals. NFC has been integrated into millions of POS terminals currently. By the end of the next five years, there will be more than 1.4 billion smartphones with NFC capabilities.

The future of NFC looks bright based on these statistics. With more and more people adopting the technology, it will become more widespread and used in society.

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