NFC is not only limited to payment

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NFC, which is an acronym for Near Field Communication, is a technology that has already impacted our daily life and many people use it without even knowing it or knowing how it works. Today it is most commonly used in contactless payments but definitely isn’t its only use.

NFC is a short-range contactless communication method, which lets two NFC enabled devices communicate in close proximity (about 10 cm). This technology is radio frequency based and is a derivative of RFID.

The increasing use of our Smartphone is one explanation for the success of NFC. Our mobile phones become a key tool or also a “modern swiss-knife”, which help us navigate trough the Smart City. NFC helps our Smartphones to become a true e-wallet.

One of the other application for NFC is access cards, the tags can be programmed to give you physical access to facilities and many bigger companies use it already today with their access badges.

The same technology is also used to eliminate everything in ticketing, it will replace our public transport cards but also our concert and event tickets. New York City has announced that they want to replace their metro cards by commuter’s mobile phones that are NFC compatible. Wembley Stadium allows you to use NFC enabled devices to access concerts and people aren’t obliged anymore to print out their tickets.

Business cards can also include NFC chips and by holding your card to your Smartphone, contacts can be added with ease. These could be very interesting especially if you consider that they can reduce waste of paper.

An application that is often left out in considering the uses of NFC is its ability to transfer data (text, images, video, and so on).

NFC is widely used in medical fields. Research shows that the medical field is the fastest adopting domain. Advantages of NFC include manage physical access to the facilities but also to patient information. The medical bracelet NFC compatible could give real time information on patients and doctors could monitor by distance the evolution of the patient. Also medicines could become more secure, by adding an NFC chip on the packaging patient could receive more information on the drug and its side effects.

French startups, which use the technology extensibly include:

  • Yes it is is a company by adding an NFC Tag transformes an unconnected object in to a connect object
  • Famaco is French company that specialises in mobile contactless payment terminals, which are based on Android devices
  • L’esprit français sells luxury travel guides which also include NFC tags to enable people to access exclusive information on their Smartphones

NFC is a very young innovation with alot of potential and even though we have a multitude of applications for it, there are still many opportunities and hopefully we will find even more uses for it.

A propos de Jean Louis GROTZ

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