What is Near Field Communication?


Near field communication (NFC) enables mobile and other devices to securely exchange radio communications with each other, either when they are touched together or brought in close proximity. The standards for NFC are based on existing radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems to allow two-way communication between devices, and essentially boils down to short-range wireless protocols that function similarly to Bluetooth, but with a highly secure transmission protocol. Common uses of NFC for commerce, social interactions, and security respectively include contactless transactions at stores, data and media exchange, and encrypted identity keycards — all accessible via mobile device. Google Wallet, for example, allows users to store credit card information on their NFC-enabled smartphone so that they can simply swipe their phone at a pay station and the purchase is instantly completed. Because NFC also enables users to share contacts, photos, videos, and audio files with each other by simply moving the mobile devices close together, it could become a powerful technology for seamless collaboration and the easy exchange of information and content.