Near Fields Communication or NFC for short, is a simple yet very powerful technology with a potential to change the way we interact with devices around us. We have already started seeing smartphones with NFC chips: HTC One X, or Blackberry Bold 9790 to name but a few, and the trend is only growing and we are likely to see support for NFC on iPhone 5 as well.

The underlying technology behind NFC is the same RFIDs, which has been used for decades now. The mechanism allows RFID enabled devices to establish connection when they are brought closer to each other. The radio connection can then be used for communication and data exchange. Standards for NFC are defined by NFC forum, which was established in 2004 by telecom manufacturers, including Nokia, Samsung, and Phillips and since then the forum has grown to include over 160 member organizations.

Near Field communication - infographic

 

NFC chips on your phone can replace all the devices that require RFID chips. There can be many commercial uses of NFC:

1. Travel Card:

NFC powered devices can replace the existing Travel cards (such as Oyster). It reduces the extra card in the wallet, since a person carries a phone with him all the time any way (or at least most people do).

2. Contactless Payment:

Customers can make payments through their NFC enabled phones by Just keeping the phone in front of the payment device. This reduces the need to wait for the person in front to do all the olympic manoeuvres from removing the card from their wallet to entering the pin and waiting for the system to connect to the terminal! You get the picture.

3. ID card:

Your phone is enough to enter your building, office building, logging on to your computer or even as an alternative to your car keys!

4. Shopping Assistance:

Shops can use the NFC chips for their promotional features or to help customers in finding the location of a product.

5. Other stuff:

You can use NFC powered phones to take your dog out for a walk, baby sit your kids, and cook delicious meals for you! You wish! But what I mean is that NFC enabled smartphones can have many other uses that are yet to be explored. Developers can create apps around this technology with features that can only be imagined.