Top NFC applications

Credit cards, movie tickets, train tickets and all similar passes are soon gonna disappear. Welcome Near Field Communication (NFC), the stylish wireless technique that could be already in your smartphone. NFC is predicted to be a de facto standard in  mobile payment technology. Hence, most of smartphone manufacturers are adopting it. 

Many Android devices and some Blackberry smartphones have already NFC chips within them. Apple has ignored NFC. So, if you are a fan of the fruit company, then you still got to wait.

Lets learn about the NFC technology before knowing the NFC applications.

What is NFC and How it works?

NFC is a short-range (high frequency) and low power wireless technology. It  require the devices to be closer by few inches (typically a distance of 10cm or lesser ).  It offers a data rate of 424 kbps and hence not advisable to use it when data transfer required is greater than 0.5Mbps. The short-range characteristic ensures security as eavesdropping is difficult in such a scenario. Unlike Bluetooth, it doesn’t require any pairing codes.

NFC chip is quite similar to RFID chip. NFC technology makes use of “Inductive Coupling”.  When a NFC equipped smartphone comes in the proximity of a NFC chip, a current is generated as the chip is surrounded with a magnetic field. This current signal is the actual short-ranged signal which is employed in NFC technology.

Here, goes the list of top NFC applications.

 NFC as a payment method:

NFC is gradually becoming a  mainstream payment method. NFC can trigger a payment using Google Wallet.  Contactless payment cards have been always considered as really cool technologies.  NFC mobile payment is still not popular. Somehow, it yet haven’t replaced the traditional payment methods and in most places, it is still in trials. 

NFC in Event Ticketing

As afore-mentioned, soon bus passes and movie tickets are to vanish. NFC enables an easy way to ticketing. Buying tickets and ticket verification steps is soon to be a matter of a few seconds with the help of NFC equipped phones and NFC enabled payment counters. NFC equipped phones and stickers can be used as a means of identification. Many cinemas and park metering services have already made use of this amazing technology.

NFC in place of QR codes

Initiation of transfer data between mobile devices

NFC as a trigger to activate file transfer between two smartphones is the most common use of NFC. For phones without NFC chips, there are alternatives like BUMP. For file transfers, NFC serve as a medium of authentication. Once verified, the devices switch to high data transfer technologies like Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi Direct.

Automation

A NFC phone can be used to unlock the door of your house or to unlock your car. It can also be used to turn on computer.  You can get the details for turning on a computer using NFC chips at this link. You can also use NFC stickers to change settings of your phone by a mere tap to these stickers. For example, by a tap you could make your phone into “customized car mode”.

Interaction with Smart iCards and Posters

Have you heard about “NFC business cards”? Yes, your business card could be embedded with a NFC chip. So, it can tell you more details than you could print in a card. The details might include links to your social media profiles and may be even a CV. Doesn’t it sound really cool. If NFC becomes so common, then may be it could replace the barcodes and QR codes. And, with NFC you no longer have to hand over the card. Instead, by a tap of the v-card the other person will get your contact details stored in his/her phone.

Business Card with NFC

 

 Share your Wi-Fi password

We tend to use long and complex passwords for Wi-Fi connections. So, it is always quite a tedious task when it comes to sharing the password to some guests at your place. The simple solution is to write the Wi-Fi password to some NFC chips and hand these chips to guests when they come to your home. The drawback is we expect the guest to have NFC equipped smartphones with a NFC reader app installed in it.

A request to wireless tech enthusiasts who own a NFC occupied smartphone

If you are having a smartphone with NFC, consider buying some tiny NFC tags and start making use of NFC feature. Download the app Trigger (or some similar app) and program the NFC tags . NFC tags are really cheap and they can be bought online from ebay for less than 5 USD.

Trigger app at Google Play store : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jwsoft.nfcactionlauncher&hl=en

NFC tags

WRAP UP

So I hope now you finds NFC is a cool technique after reading this post on “Top NFC Applications”. People insist its a cool technology. So if you are living in a country where NFC is still not popular and anticipate that “One day, you will find it useful”. I am a fan of videos from Marques Brownlee. A video can inspire you more than a simple blog post.  See his video (given below) about NFC where he explains the NFC applications you can make use if you have a NFC enabled smartphone.

Jakes

Freelancer and a Wireless tech enthusiast at Blog-Jakes
Anoop Jacob, known as Jakes, is a Wireless tech enthusiast and blogger from India. He is also a researcher and a birder by hobby.


16 thoughts on “Top NFC applications

  • Delbin Thomas

    You said it can be used as authentication to unlock doors etc, but does each device has a unique identifier to make that process secure? Is it too hard to copy one NFC device’s identification to another NFC?

    Reply
    • Jakes Post author

      Hi Delbin,
      Thanks for dropping by.

      First of all, let me admit that I have never tried the things mentioned in this post. However, I will try to answer your query with my little knowledge. Due to the nature of post, I haven’t gone into details of the implementation. The identification system will have a NFC reader and the user will have an application-specific app running on his/her phone. On tapping the phone to the NFC chip on the identification system, the system could take details like IMEI number, SIM details, and other relevant data. So, it’s the mobile phone that act as the identity card in this scenario. This is an implementation I can think of.
      As per my understanding, an NFC sticker can’t alone serve as a unique identification means. As you speculated, copying contents of a NFC chip to another is simple. But, it often contain only some programs and data insensitive to a security personnel or a hacker/cracker.

      Reply
      • Delbin Thomas

        Well, thats cool if the identification is based on IMEI and sim details, but they are duplicate-able right? If so, how can we ensure safety?

        For making financial transactions, it should be enhanced in security side.. Hope they have already done that.

        Reply
        • Jakes Post author

          IMEI cloning is possible. I don’t think they should employ NFC based identification systems at zones which require high security. One solution would be to have fingerID scan provisions on mobile phone. But that doesn’t make any sense because if that was the case, the identification system could have been a biometric system alone. In financial transactions, it is an alternative to typing passwords and security codes. So people will be content with what NFC can currently offer.

          Reply
  • Nwosu Desmond

    NFC is not getting the attention it requires because most phones are not NFC enabled yet. But as soon as newer phones begin to wipe out the old generation phones without NFC more and more people will become aware of it, use it and appreciate it.

    NFC technology can be applied on a wide range of services and even in business. It saves a lot of time and resources. Sharing with NFC is magical and i hope to see more NFC based applications and developers.

    This is a well written article, this is my first time here and i am so impressed by the quality of content and design of your blog, i will surely bookmark this site to come back always for more articles like this.

    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Jakes Post author

      Hi Nwosu,
      Thanks for the compliment. I too was impressed by your site and it’s quality.

      I agree with you. We need to wait till the day when majority of the phones will have NFC chips in them. But, recently there have been lot of articles telling that NFC is yet to secure its role in mobile payments. Many are still skeptical about the security involved with the NFC chips. Leaving the security aspect aside, people should start using the cheap NFC stickers for small and silly purposes.

      Thanks again for dropping at my site. I hope to see you often here. Cheers !!

      Reply
    • Jakes Post author

      Hi Emmanuel,
      Thanks for the comment. I too find sharing wifi password using NFC extremely useful. It is an easy procedure. All it requires is a single tap.

      Reply
  • Robb Gorringe

    Jakes,

    First time to hear about NFC, but RFID? …look out.

    I know these technologies are inevitable. But I sure hope that young, tech entrepreneurs, such as yourself, will see the danger in having something like RFID implanted into a human being. I know it will make life a whole lot easier, (and that’s the marketing plan for it), but it will also end up taking away many of the freedoms that we know and enjoy today.

    Robb

    Reply
    • Jakes Post author

      Hi Robb,
      Welcome to WirelessMash. RFIDs and similar technologies are reigning the pervasive computing. I agree with you. Technologies like this have made people’s life easy but they have looted the freedom without their knowledge. They have invaded to our daily life and have raised many privacy issues. Modern world (especially the young generation) doesn’t seems to be concerned about security much.

      Reply
  • Barb Brady
    Twitter:

    Jakes,
    I don’t say this often: this is one of the most fascinating posts I have read in a long time. I have an iPhone. I want this technology. I won’t be picky . . . I just want to do one of the things listed. This is so cool! Can you tell I am a little bit of a geek. I like this stuff !!

    Barb
    I know kingged.com is in maintenance mode of a short period. But as soon as it is up, hopefully you will post this! it is great.
    Barb Brady recently posted…#8.03 Online Spell Checker and why I don’t use JetpackMy Profile

    Reply
    • Jakes Post author

      Hi Barb,
      Thanks for visiting me here and a special thanks for the compliment 😀
      If rumors turn out to be true, iPhone 6 will be featuring NFC. But same sort of rumors were floating before the launch of iphone 5 too. For filesharing purposes, you can go with some alternatives like BUMP, AirDrop, etc. Let’s hope NFC will be simplify the technological aspects :) .

      Regarding Kingged.com, I missed the notice stating the maintenance mode. Being unaware of it, I went ahead with publishing. The moment I published it there, I got the notification from admin telling they are in maintenance mode. So, when the restriction is lifted, I will post it there. Cheers !!!!!

      Reply
  • Pingback: Top NFC Applications | wireless-news | Scoop.it

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

CommentLuv badge