Tech Jargon 101: Near Field Communication (NFC)
How well do you really understand Near Field Communication? Here is a breakdown of the term.

Article


July 10, 2012 By Fred Harding

NFC is another one of those great industry acronyms we all (should) know and love. It stands for Near Field Communication and refers to the use of a personal cell phone or similar device as a way to transmit information back and forth with a fixed source. With an NFC-equipped phone, a user can use their cell phone for a myriad of activities where in past, separate cards or keys were needed.

CI has asked an experience integrator, Fred Harding of distributor Capitol Sales, to define NFC and as a failsafe, Debbie Arnold, NFC Forum director to fact-check.

Here is what Harding had to say with Arnold’s comments inserted.

NFC is a very short-range communications standard. That range, from actual touching to between 4 and 20 cm, is used as a technological benefit by providing security from inadvertent scans as you walk through a crowded city.

NFC devices operate on the 13.56mhz band, and are capable of transmitting between 106 and 424 kilobits per second. One- or two-way communication is available, depending on application requirements and technical deployment. Targets for the readers can be passive devices, operating as reflectors of the signal from the handheld device. That broadens application possibilities for the technology.

Applications that are currently deployed around the world using NFC include payment options. In some parts of the world, employers pay employees by putting credits onto the NFC enabled chip set on the employee’s phone. The employee can than go and purchase items securely at a variety of vendors or service providers without having to travel to a bank to cash a check.

NFC works well as a means to gain admittance to public transportation systems, including busses, subways, and airplanes. That application also lends itself well to event ticketing at sporting, concerts or other cultural events. In commercial installations, the smartphone could replace a proximity card as a way to gain access to secure buildings.

A potentially large market that NFC is working with is the healthcare arena. Consider an elderly person at home, who could transmit information daily indicating they are up and about. Depending on the applications that develop, they could do simple medical tests to check for blood pressure or insulin levels, and communicate that to a remote care provider for monitoring purposes.

In the retail world, NFC can be used as a way to acquire and transfer coupons at the store, and to pay for purchases through a scanne-equipped cash register. If you want to give feedback on how a store or restaurant performed that day, you could, and new customers could use that cache of information to help them decide whether they want to eat or buy at that facility.

In a business networking world, NFC technology would easily allow you to exchange business card information by simply touching a cell phone device to a reader or another cell phone.

NFC technology can also be deployed to speed connection between the cell phone and a blue tooth headset, or to assist in logging onto local WiFi networks.

As with many emerging technologies, a trade consortium has been organized. Over 160 companies have joined the NFC forum to work to develop and further the standards. Since it’s a worldwide format, the technology will provide for more uniformity in engineering of devices. That’s welcome news for all in the commercial integration world.

Work Smarter: Keep Ahead of the Competition

Keep up with the changing A/V world with Commercial Integrator. Each issue makes it easy to understand and apply the latest A/V trends and techniques — whether you deal with UHDTV, wireless AV, Digital Video/IPTV, networking, HDBaseT or HDMI.
It's not enough to keep up with the competition. You need to stay ahead of them. Subscribe to Commercial Integrator today for the latest techniques and insights you need to drive your business.

About the author

Fred Harding handles technical sales and design at Capitol Sales.
View all posts by Fred Harding
Article Topics
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
White Paper:
Your #1 Source for Expanding Your Recurring-Revenue Practice

Adding to your service offering is challenging. We get it. ConnectWise has helped countless technology solution providers reconfigure their business for the future by adding new practice areas and building monthly recurring revenue.

Webcast: Discover the Secrets of Leveraging Third-Party Labor
Webcast: How to Build Your Broadcast Technology Capabilities
White Paper: Ignorance, Defiance on ADA Compliance Among Regulatory Nightmares
White Paper: Secrets to Installing Outdoor Audio-Video Safely
White Paper: New Standard Revs Up Networking Game
White Paper: 7 Tips for Rolling Out University Digital Signage
White Paper: From Chaos to Control - Your Guide to Business Efficiency
View more papers or webcasts


Recent comments

Excellent summary Mike.. in particular that the size and prominent placement of video walls and tiled displays…

Posted by LyleBunn on 2016 08 22 · commented on
'Q & A: Mvix Explains Why You Should Choose Video Walls Over Digital Signage'.

IMS Technology Services has the privilege of making the list for the 5th year in a row.  This year #4532. …

Posted by Michael Shinn on 2016 08 21 · commented on
'Herman Integration Services Named No. 110 on the Inc. 5000 2016 List'.

Congrats to the entire 40 Under 40 Class of 2016.

Posted by Christopher Neto on 2016 08 17 · commented on
'40 CI Influencers Under 40: Class of 2016'.

Thank YOU. It was a lot of fun. And congrats on having the most brightly colored beer.

Posted by Tom LeBlanc on 2016 08 16 · commented on
'The Evolution of Media: Why It Matters to the Industry'.