The magic of NFC technology

The magic of NFC technology
The magic of NFC technology

NFC or Near Field Communication is a standard for short-frequency radio waves.  Some NFC chips can send and receive information to and from another NFC device, and their capabilities extend as far as financial transactions.  This wireless technology is gradually reaching daily life now.

 NFC is based on the previous RFID technology.  On May 17, 1983, Charles Walton received the patent for RFID.  NFC was accepted as an ISO/IEC standard in 2003.  In 2004, Nokia, Philips, and Sony formed the NFC Forum, which now includes credit card companies, banks, and more.

Use cases

A large number of NFC-enabled smartphones are already available in the market.  Although it is still not possible in this country after buying goods from supermarkets, in other countries when you bring your phone close to the payment machine (sometimes you have to enter a PIN number) the payment is made from the bank account.  So forgetting credit/debit/loyalty cards is not a problem for them.

 Some bank cards in this country also have a “))” type symbol indicating that payment can be made without touching.  Depending on the product nature of the card, sometimes such cards you have may also have NFC or RFID technology.

In order to pay by inserting bank cards into the phone, there must be an App that supports it.  Services like Google Wallet and Samsung Pay are not available at the time of writing this article, so no matter how many features your phone has, it won’t work.  For example, the Note 10 phone is set to be able to make payments to non-NFC payment terminals, but it’s useless because it doesn’t have Samsung Pay.

 There are smart door products that can be turned on by NFC.  Then you can open the phone by bringing it closer to the lock without spending time looking for the keys.  Also, NFC technology is also used for advertisements in other countries, and when the phone is brought closer to a pasted advertisement, more information can be obtained about it.

There are many things you can do with programmable NFC tags that you can also get for a very low price.  For example, when the phone is brought close to such a tag near the bed at night, the ringtone will be automatically removed and muted, if there are smart light bulbs, they will be disabled, etc.  Or, you can instantly call a phone number, send an emergency message, etc.

If your phone has NFC, you can share data with other NFC-enabled phones.  Android Beam can be used for Android phones, and when the two phones are placed close to each other or on top of each other, it is possible to send small things like Contacts, Links, and to pair for Bluetooth/WiFi Direct.

 How it works

NFC-enabled devices  It is possible to exchange data from a distance of about 4.  Also, NFC tags do not require electrical power to operate.  How is that?  Behind all this are the wonderful workings of magnetism and electricity.

This physiological phenomenon is called inductive coupling.  When another coil is brought closer to an electrified coil, it receives power by jumping electrons.  At science fairs, you may have seen a light bulb (with a hidden coil) light up when brought close to the surface of the table.  In it, a powered coil is placed under the table, and the presence of the obstacle called the table does not interfere with the induction.

 In NFC technology, when the phone is brought close to the NFC tags, they get electricity, activate it, and give their data to the phone.

 Difference Between RFID and NFC

Devices with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) can only function as a tag, reader or antenna in the same way.  For example, when the employee pass (tag) is brought close to the doors, the reader on it records the data about the person entering and unlocks it.

 RFID devices (859-960 MHz) can detect an object as far as 10 meters away.  Therefore, this technology is often used to track goods in warehouses.

 NFC, an RFID-based technology, works only at a frequency of 13.56 MHz.  These devices can receive data as well as send data.  For example, Programmable NFC tags allow us to change what happens to them at any time, store a message, and read them again at a later time.

 Can QR codes be used instead?

NFC tags are very cheap, but you might be wondering if you can’t save that and use QR codes that you can print at home.  But, both have advantages and disadvantages.

 QR codes are a type of barcode.  That is, the data given to it cannot be changed again like in NFC.  Therefore, it cannot be used again and again, so it has to be discarded.  An advantage is that even a phone without NFC can read QR codes with the camera.  The downside is that the user always has to open the camera/app.

 There is a proverb that says “nails in place”.  Whether NFC or QR is more appropriate for your next design needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis.  NFC is more suitable for home automation.  A good QR for a Leaflet.  But, it is your responsibility to provide the most convenient method to the target user.

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