Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Technology Review - Near Field Communication (NFC)

Tired of carrying lots of bank cards, money, id cards etc in your wallet ?
Want a futuristic mobile phone which can replace all these ?

Google got the same idea and implemented it. The result is Google Wallet.

You can use a mobile phone installed with Google Wallet and make transactions at shops, restaurants, taxis etc. It replaces the need of carrying money or credit card. The application has all your bank data including credit card numbers etc. Everything you need to do in order to complete a transaction is to just wave your phone near the NFC enabled sensor or just touch your phone to the NFC enabled sensor.

YES, you got me right. NFC. Near Field Communication. It is the next generation technology which can transfer huge amounts of data between multiple NFC enabled devices when placed at very short range.
In order to use NFC, your device must be pre-installed with NFC chip in its hardware.
NFC is like bluetooth. But a lot of differences and pros and cons. Bluetooth works even at larger distances like 5mts but NFC works only at short distances. Bluetooth can transfer speeds upto Mbps only while NFc can make it upto Kbps.
NFC replaces both BlueTooth and WiFi. Tap an NFC enabled device with NFC enabled router to start using the router's WiFi.
Sad thing is that NFC doesn't support security. But guys this is just the beginning.

Just look at the sample below to know what exactly NFC can do.
7:30 - Eric gets on a train to go to his office, using his NFC-enabled phone to tap a reader and easily open the turnstile. 
7:32 - He sees a poster announcing a free concert that evening. He touches his NFC-enabled phone to the N-Mark on the poster, which transfers the detailed information onto his phone. He reserves seats for the concert with his mobile phone, using mobile communications (e.g., SMS, internet, packet-based connections), and the complimentary tickets are sent to his mobile phone. He sends a text message to his wife to invite her to the concert and dinner.
8:15 - When he arrives at his office, Eric touches his NFC-enabled phone to the office gate to unlock the security mechanism. 
Noon - At lunch time, he pays for his meal using one of the credit cards stored in his phone.
13:00 - After lunch, Eric visits the office of his new business partner for a meeting. Those attending the meeting exchange electronic business cards, stored in their NFC-enabled phones, by touching their phones together. 
18:00 - Eric meets his wife and they go to the concert venue. He touches his NFC-enabled phone to a turnstile at the entrance to the venue, their reservations are confirmed, and they are admitted. 
20:00 - After the concert, they visit a shopping center, where they make a few purchases and have dinner, using their NFC-enabled phones to pay for everything.
22:00 - When they arrive home, Eric realizes that he left his NFC-enabled phone on the train. He immediately calls the mobile network operator and makes a request to disable all active NFC services in the phone. If his phone is later found and returned to him, he will be able to reactivate these services.


The Artifex.


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