Have you ever dreamed of being able to pay bills from your cell phone? Or purchase groceries by simply swiping your cell phone against a cash register? What about using your phone to identify yourself? Near Field communication (NFC) is enabling all of these possibilities.
NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between two devices in close proximity – a distance of 4 cm or less. The technology combines the interface of a smartcard and a reader in a single device. An NFC device can communicate with both existing ISO/IEC 14443 smartcards and readers, as well as with other NFC devices, and is thereby compatible with existing contactless infrastructure already in use for public transportation and payment. NFC is primarily aimed at usage in mobile phones.
Most of the upcoming smart phones will be NFC-enabled. Microsoft plans to include the short-range wireless technology NFC in new versions of the Windows Phone 7, and it is also being adopted by Google's Android OS and perhaps by Apple in the next version of the iPhone.
The question to be answered now is how does this NFC work? According to business insider, “NFC allows a small chip in a phone to exchange simple information with other devices at very close range. Its most obvious use is for retail shopping. Instead of paying with a credit or debit card, users will be able to swipe their phone against a cash register or other device.” NFC is said to also be able to replace passports, drivers’ licenses and car keys, but this will require huge support from customers.
As we always say, with everything that comes with advantages there are also disadvantages that the builders may not highlight. The main problem we see that may result from the introduction of this technology - “Identity Theft!” A cell phone is easier to lose than a credit card and can easily be hacked, which will give hackers access to a lot of personal information.
NFC will be a great addition to our smart phones so we know many people will be supporting this new technology, especially in the business sector. So let’s see how it impacts our daily lives when it hits the market in the next few months.