NFC stands for Near Field Communication and as the name suggests, it is used for transmitting information to nearby devices by putting them in physical contact with each other. The technology though developed around the early-mid 2000s, is still a long way to go, predominantly because its commercialization has not taken place. Nevertheless, NFC has great potential to be THE future of how we interact with devices around us. At the most basic level, NFC works using radio waves and completes user initiated actions by touching, waving or tapping the NFC enabled device to another device or system.
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Here’s what NFC can do for you and how:
One of the most popular reasons that mobile and device manufacturers give to push NFC enabled smartphones and devices. Though you may feel you’re still doing pretty well without it, NFC allows two devices to exchange contacts and all kinds of files and needs a lesser time to setup.
NFC also makes it possible for your phone to store your credit/debit card information, loyalty card details of stores that you shop at, coupons, tickets and airline boarding passes and use it at the counter by just a simple tap. Once commercialized, NFC can make transactions much simpler; imagine having to do away with multiple kinds of cards and coupons! Actually, some of this is already possible using Google Wallet, but not many people use it.
NFC chips can be embedded in houses and offices and be programmed to perform specific types of actions, say turning on the air conditioner when your smartphone crosses the main entrance to your house. Similarly, in offices it can be used to provide information about complex equipment or software (that are fitted with NFC chips or antennae) or to authorize entry when an NFC enabled smartphone or device is waved around them. BMW has car keys which are NFC-enabled.
There are a lot more things that NFC can do, but at the moment, the hindrance from letting all that happen is the fact that all systems would need an overhaul to be fitted with NFC chips before it becomes widely usable. One of the simplest yet useful advantages of NFC is that it can also scan information from passive devices like badges or smart cards. Passive devices are those that do not have a power supply of their own. In the workplace too, training and development of staff and the way they exchange information could be revolutionized once this technology becomes full-fledged.
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