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What is NFC Technology?

…it just works,™ but how?

As the name implies, NFC, or near-field communication, is a short-range wireless RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. Unlike Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and the other longer range wireless protocols, the intuitive design of NFC allows for a pair of devices to “talk” in close proximity. The simplicity and convenience of near field communication technology provides end users with the ability to make simple transactions, exchange digital information as well as connect two devices with a mere tap. Like a magic wand, NFC synchronizes today’s various contactless technologies; the best part about it, you don’t have to be a wizard…“It just works™”

In order to perform the contactless exchange of data, NFC uses passive targets (with no batteries) and random (is there another term other than random? or could we define as it is used here?) devices that are not powered (“tags” or “stickers.”) To access content, applications, or services, NFC-enabled devices simply touch these targets. These seemingly simple tags can actually be quite complex, as each differs depending on tag type, memory size, and level of security.

Although headlines have recently been fixated on the mobile payment arena, the truth of the matter is that there is a wide variety of useful NFC applications other than the so-called “digital wallet” including:

  • Access control
  • Consumer electronics
  • Healthcare
  • Promotions
  • Loyalty programs
  • Coupons
  • Mobile payments
  • Transportation
  • Electronic business Cards
  • And many others

Visit for more information on near field communication or to purchase tags, readers, and contactless software development kits.

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