NFC, near field communication

A Brief Look At NFC

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in General

What Is NFC?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication and the short answer would be that NFC identifies us. It allows smartphones to be identified and it establishes a radio communication. Think short range wireless RFID technology.

You may have heard of NFC and its ability to make mobile payments easy. Account information is stored on the smartphone and when in close contact with the payment receiving technology, it passes along that account information, enabling a payment to be made.

However, NFC can be a great marketing tool for mobile marketing. And there is also talk of how NFC will help in terms of rewarding customer loyalty. The bonus is that NFC is more interactive and engaging than your typical marketing message. It’s not a “look at me” marketing strategy. It’s more of a “hey, look what we’ve got for you, are you interested?” kind of connection with the audience.

How Does NFC Work?

NFC is like your short and skinny pal. He can’t reach very far. And he can’t throw a weighty punch. But he’s scrappy and useful in certain situations.  This low power and short-range wireless link allows for information to be passed between a smartphone and another device. While it is short range (think inches), it does not require contact. But most importantly, it allows for the information to relay back and forth between two devices instead of that relay being a one way street.

Not only is it short-range, NFC is slow. Especially when you compare it to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. But the perk is that NFC consumes very little power. It won’t strain a smartphone battery and suck it dry.

A smartphone enabled with NFC can share and interact with another NFC device, or with a “passive” NFC tag. No app needed. And the NFC tag is like a tiny chip that may be embedded (in a poster, a business card and so on) somewhere and has data ready to transfer to a NFC enabled device. The tag doesn’t even need power. Instead, the radio frequency field generated by the NFC device (like your smartphone) does the work, and the data from the tag is transferred to the device.

To get a comprehensive look at NFC, check out the rest of this post.

 

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