Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It is a wireless communication protocol, based on high frequency RFID technology (13.56 MHz).
It supports three different operating modes:
- peer-to-peer – for data exchange between two devices
- card emulation – a smartphone can be used as a contactless identification card
- read/write mode in which an active device such as a smartphone can read out pre-saved information in a passive one (i.e. NFC paper label).
NFC covers a large number of applications like payment or swap of multimedia files and new ones are constantly added. It can also be integrated in business cards, deployed in museums, educational facilities, retail and many other environments.
The communication range of NFC is limited to about 10 centimeters/4 inches and compared to other contactless technologies it has pretty low power consumption. Just a fraction of a second is needed for a connection establishment between two NFC enabled devices with a transmission speed of 424 kbit/s.
This advantage makes this technology very suitable for mobile payments and is supported by almost all current Android smart phones.