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NFC: What is it and what is it for?


In everyday technology we are accustomed to living with various functions of our mobile phones and tablets, such as NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. You’ve probably heard it many times, because it appeared more than a decade ago.

But do you know what it really is and what it is for? In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about NFC to get the most out of it.

What is NFC technology?

Designed as an open platform, NFC wireless technology operates at 13.56 MHz and is approximately a derivation of the famous RFID systems (present nowadays in all kinds of instruments, such as the cards we use when we go by subway).

what is NFC technology

As much as this communication channel is able to transmit data, the truth is that its main virtue is its immediate and not so much in terms of its volume capacity.

Transfers at 424 kbit, so if it worked with large volumes of data, it would not be efficient. Instead, it is a great way to allow identification and confirmation in all types of environments and industries.

NFC systems are very fast, but in a very limited range of action. When we pass the subway card through the reader at the entrance, we use NFC because the reader and the card are a few centimeters apart. Actually the maximum coverage of this technology is 20 centimeters.

What is NFC connectivity for?

It is about one of the most used wireless communication channels in the world for its great efficacy and safety.

what is NFC for

It has different uses, which include identifying, synchronizing terminals, automating processes, exchanging information or managing payments with mobile phones.

  • ID: The example we were talking about with subway permits or another type of transportation is included. What we do is place the NFC chip card on a reader and it recognizes that we are new and identifies us.
  • Terminal synchronization: You gain in speed and efficiency. When a brand allows synchronization with NFC, we can instantly connect a mobile phone to a speaker, without having to do anything more than bring both devices together. You don’t have to make a pair of Bluetooth-like terminals, and of course you don’t have to use any cables.
  • Automated processes: It is reflected when we use the NFC connection with the use of stickers and then use the mobile on them, we will simplify many processes. Let’s just say that when we get home, we always want to turn on the Wi-Fi connection. Instead of pressing the button, what we will do is pass the mobile phone through the NFC sticker and thus the process will be activated automatically. There are many processes that benefit from using NFC due to automation.
  • Information exchange: It is also very useful to take advantage of it with NFC technology. These connections can allow us to exchange data while collecting different types of media in a very simple way. The systems include, for example, information about where we are or when we get to a certain place, receiving information from our mobile device that is of interest on the site we went to. This opens up great tourist opportunities, because, for example, the NFC connection will inform us about offers in nearby stores, events that take place or any other type of work that might be interesting.
  • Mobile payment management: Increasingly standardized, due to how light they are and how they lead us to enjoy excellent opportunities in terms of speed when we operate. Payment with NFC allows us, for example, to have a coffee in a cafe, to pass the mobile phone through POS and that our account has already been paid automatically.

How does an NFC chip or reader work?

The operation of this technology consists of an NFC reader and an NFC chip, which communicates wirelessly. This chip, in the case of mobile phones, is usually integrated internally.

how nfc works with mobile devices

Nothing new so far, right? But what needs to be added is that There are two ways NFC technology can work:

  • Passive mode: In this mode of action, one of the devices acts in an active way and the other simply benefits from the first with the intention of an exchange of information. Here is an example of fertilizers, which have incorporated information that is transmitted to the machines and read them simply to corroborate the data.
  • Active mode: It is the opposite of the previous one, because in both cases, both one of the machines and the other incorporate NFC technology to communicate with each other. When these two machines or elements meet using NFC, what happens is that an electromagnetic field is created with which the information is exchanged.

How to activate NFC connection on your Android or iPhone mobile?

Where our mobile is Android, how to use this connectivity it is simple and comfortable.

We can activate it in several ways, such as:

  1. Coming in «Settings «
  2. After in «Wireless networks «
  3. Finally in the section «Which add», we will find the option so that we can activate the network NFC and thus benefit from all its possibilities.

Another way to activate the connection is directly from the menu where notifications are displayed, such as when you want to turn on WiFi.

how to activate the NFC connection

If we have a iPhone, we advance that this connection is not used much, but is included with Apple Pay. If we have the mobile payment application with iPhone installed, we will have this connectivity enabled to use it at will.

Gradually, however, more possibilities for using NFC with your Apple mobile device are expected, especially now that the company is relaxing more in terms of its use.