NFC (Near Field Communication) is basically a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that can be used to share data between two NFC capable devices when held closely. Although there is a similar technology in the form of Bluetooth, that has been available for a long period of time in the mobile ecosystem, NFC goes a mile ahead due to its enhanced capabilities. It is easier to setup, but more importantly, it is highly secure due to the short range that is required for it to work. Moreover, this technology can even work when one of the devices is not powered by any source of power, which gives it an edge over the others.
Currently, NFC is being used to share data in the form of contact information like business cards, content like images and documents, and files. But due to its secure wireless communication, its biggest capability comes in the form of electronic payments.
Google has been using this technology in its android devices along with Google Wallet service to make secure payments. It is being seen as a prospect that can enhance the user experience in the modern retail shopping. Imagine going to the grocery store or any retail outlet and just waving your NFC capable mobile device over the counter to make the payment. It eliminates the hassle of carrying your wallet or credit cards and makes shopping a delight.
The potential of NFC doesn’t end at data transfer and payments. For travelers, it can mean reading tickets at the airport or metro station counter without the hassle of carrying printed tickets with them. Once you have checked-in to your hotel, all you have to do is wave your phone in front of your door lock, to open or close the door.
There have also been a lot of prospects seen from the auto makers where they are keen to use NFC technology as an alternative to car keys. There is also the social integration aspect of this technology, where establishments can put NFC tags at the entrance. A user can then just wave their NFC capable device in front of that NFC tag and automatically check-in their status on various social networking websites.
This technology is the way of the future, and there are a lot of applications that can be developed around it. Although the current use of NFC in our daily lives is promising, it holds the key to a future that would revolutionize the way we see communication. NFC is emerging at a rapid pace and having a single device for almost all of the needs is an interesting prospect. One can expect that over the next few years, NFC would change the way we travel, do shopping and communicate with each other.
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