In the technological day-to-day we are used to living with different functions of our mobiles 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 make the most of it.
What is NFC technology?
Created as an open platform, NFC wireless technology operates on the 13.56 Mhz frequency and is a derivation of the famous RFID systems (present in our day to day in all kinds of tools, such as the cards we use when we go by subway).
As much as this communication channel is capable of transmitting data, the truth is that its main virtue consists in its immediacy and not so much in its capacity at the volume level.
It transfers at a speed of 424 kbit, so if it worked with high volumes of data it would not be effective. Instead, it’s a great way to enable 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 are using NFC because the reader and the card are a few centimeters away. Actually, the maximum reach of this technology is 20 centimeters.
What is NFC connectivity for?
It is one of the most used wireless communication channels in the world due to its great efficiency and safety.
It has different uses, which include identification, terminal synchronization, process automation, information exchange, or mobile payment management.
The example we were talking about with passes for the metro or another type of transport is included. What we are doing is placing the card with the NFC chip on a reader and it recognizes that it is us and identifies us.
You gain speed and efficiency. When a brand allows synchronization with NFC we can connect a mobile phone to a speaker instantly without having to do anything more than bring both devices closer together. You do not have to make a pairing of terminals as with Bluetooth and, of course, you do not have to resort to any cables.
It is reflected when we use the NFC connection with the use of stickers and then we use the mobile on them, we are going to simplify many processes. Let’s 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 through the NFC sticker and the process will be activated automatically. There are many processes that benefit from the use of NFC thanks to automation.
It is also very useful for taking advantage of it with NFC technology. These connections can allow us to exchange data while different types of environment collect them in a very simple way. The systems include, for example, informing where we are or when we arrive at a specific place, receiving information on our mobile device that is of interest on the site to which we have gone.
This opens up great tourist opportunities, given that, for example, the NFC connection will inform us of offers in nearby stores, events that are taking place, or any other type of thing that may be interesting.
Mobile payment management
Increasingly standardized due to how easy they are and how they lead us to enjoy great opportunities in terms of speed when we do operations. Paying with NFC allows us, for example, to have a coffee in a cafeteria, pass the mobile through the POS, and that our account has already been automatically paid.
How does an NFC chip or reader work?
The operation of this technology consists of an NFC reader and an NFC chip, which communicate wirelessly. Said chip, in the case of mobiles, is usually internally integrated.
So far nothing new, right? But what needs to be added is that there are two ways in which NFC technology can act:
The passive mode: In this mode of action, one of the devices acts actively and the other simply benefits from the first with the intention that information exchange takes place. Here comes the example of fertilizers, which have incorporated information that is transmitted to the machines and they simply read them to corroborate the data.
Active mode: This is the opposite way to the previous one since 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 with the use of NFC meet, what happens is that an electromagnetic field is created with which the information exchange is carried out.
How to activate the NFC connection on your Android or iPhone mobile?
In the case that our mobile is Android, the way to use this connectivity is simple and comfortable.
We can activate it in several ways, such as:
- Open the “Settings” on your phone.
- Then in “Wireless connections“
- Finally, in the “More” section or relevant section, we find the option so that we can activate the NFC network 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 activate the WiFi.
If we have an iPhone, we advance you that this connection is not used much, but it is included with Apple Pay. If we have the app for mobile payments with iPhone installed, we will have this connectivity activated to use it at will.
Little by little, however, it is expected that there will be more possibilities of using NFC with Apple’s mobile, especially now that the company is relaxing more in terms of its use.