/// NFC: What You Need to Know

February 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital


By now you may have heard of NFC. It’s been the next big thing for the past five years. 

Okay, so maybe this tech hasn’t hit its stride yet. But there are several new mobile phones that claim “NFC” as a feature. So what does NFC mean, how does it work and will it finally catch on? These are questions that many consumers will have as they hear more and more about this technology — and here are some answers. What is NFC, in a nutshell?

 NFC, which stands for near-field communication, is a type of communication that involves wirelessly transmitting data from one hardware device to another physical object, provided that the devices are in short range (within 10 centimeters) of one another.

 In order for NFC to work, both devices — say, for example, your smartphone and a payment terminal at your local CVS — have to have NFC chips and antennas embedded in them. [ See post to watch video ] Though NFC might be new to you, the technology isn’t. The industry standard for it was established between 2003 and 2004. Over the past few years, NFC has become more prominent, but it’s still a long way from mass adoption. 
 So … what is it used for? 

 Some practical uses include bumping your phone against someone else’s to wirelessly (and paperlessly) exchange your contact information. You can also tap your phone against a laptop or computer to share photo files.

 NFC is also used in marketing

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NFC: What You Need to Know


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