Near Field Communication – or NFC as it’s commonly known – is a technology that’s been growing for a couple of years now. But what is it and why would you want to use it?
What is NFC?
NFC is a short-range wireless technology that allows the exchange of data between devices. It only works with short distances of about four inches at the most, so you have to be very close to another NFC enabled device to transfer the data.
Looking back at Nokia’s NFC phone history, you can see that Nokia has been active in trialling the use of NFC for a variety of use cases.
Here are some reasons to get excited about having NFC on your phone.
1. Leave your wallet at home. With the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, your smartphone has the ability to remember your credit/debit card details. At the moment, these details are stored in Wallet and can be referred to when you need to type in your card details, or also when making purchases from Windows Phone Store.
Additionally, the ability to tap your phone against an NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminal will be coming in the near future – you’ll then be able to ditch the real-world wallet for good and opt for a digital one.
2. If you’re out of town and staying in a hotel, your door keycard information could be stored on your phone, meaning you’ll never leave your hotel room again without the door key. While this isn’t immediately available, tests have already taken place in a chain of hotels by Nordic Choice Hotels showing that it’s a real possibility.
3. Use your phone as a pass for use on transport systems. Just swipe your phone across the NFC reader, like you do with already existing contactless travel cards. Contactless systems exist in the UK, Germany, China and all around the world.
4. Swapping business cards can be done virtually, easier and cheaper than it’s done now. Put two phones in close proximity with each other and let the phones do the transfer. You’ll never have to buy business cards again, as the data can be rewritten if needed when you change jobs, or change your number.
5. If you do a lot of browsing on your Lumia 920 or Lumia 820 and like to share those great webpages with your friends, you can now send and receive links via NFC.
When you’re on a website, selecting the More option will open up a few options. Select Share Page and then Tap+Send to start the link transfer when you’re phone is held against another NFC-enabled phone, or NFC-enabled Windows 8 PC.
6. Your loyalty is important for businesses and they usually offer a discount for returning customers.
In the future, loyalty cards could be thrown out and your details held on your phone. Buy those shoes you’ve had your eye on with a swipe of your phone. The store will also recognise your loyalty and give the discount.
7. Location aware apps could make use of this technology too. For example, users of Foursquare have to load up the app, find the location, and press the check-in button to check-in. However, there’s no reason that this can’t all be done using NFC.
Hold your phone to an NFC reader and let the system tell all your friends where you are.
8. Sending photos or videos to your friends or family is now made really simple, by using the Tap+Send feature on your Lumia 920 or Lumia 820. Selecting the Tap+Send option within an image or video will start the process – tapping your phone against another NFC-enabled phone will complete it.
That’s just eight ways NFC could be useful to you when you go about your daily routine. But I’m sure there are more ways to use this technology that we’ve not thought of. NFC is going to make lots of things much easier, leaving you with more time to do other, more important things.
How would you like to see NFC used? Will you be using NFC? Let us know your thoughts and ideas, in the comments box below.
Image credit: StockMonkeys.com
Updated October 1, 2015 6:50 am