Near Field Communication FAQs

NFC is a new technology, and as with any new technology, people are going to have questions they need answered before they are going to be willing to invest, if not their time, their energy into it. Here are some of the questions I have come across online and in my personal life, as well as the questions I first had upon discovering this technology.

What is Near Field Communication?

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a system which allows for two pieces of technology to exchange or otherwise transmit or receive information simply by being in close proximity to one another. In this way, people can, for example, exchange contact information simply by activating the software on their phones and holding the phones together for a few seconds. 

Where Did It Come From?

Near Field Communication has actually been around for over a decade and is an advancement of another type of technology called Radio Frequency Identification, which allows an antenna to transmit information to a nearby transceiver. This technology has been around for over fifty years with one of the most used iterations of it being the EZPass toll payment system. 

Why Would Businesses Use Near Field Communication? 

The major selling point of Near Field Communication is simple. Convenience. It is a technology born almost entirely out of the knowledge that people are willing to pay for and use any technology which will make their lives even marginally easier. Because of this demand, businesses are starting to ramp up their efforts to incorporate NFC into their business models.

Why Would Private Citizens Use NFC?

Again, this is almost entirely a matter of ease of use. If there is one thing we can learn from the great surge in popularity for any device featuring a touch screen, people like their devices to be intuitive, to think like they are thinking rather than learning how to think like a computer. There is little more intuitive than the idea that I want to share my information with this person, and therefore I hold the device which holds my information (my phone) up to my friend’s information holding device (his phone) for a few seconds and Presto! we now have each other’s information. Easy peasy.

Also, NFC will allow people to pay for their goods easier. Instead of having to find a credit card and swipe it, or, if you are a real luddite, writing a check at the register, simply hold up your phone to the register and the product is paid for as if you had swiped your credit card. This type of improvement might seem like a marginal one when it comes to how much people have to deal with in their day-to-day lives, but there is certainly a market in it, and this market is clamoring for something just like this.

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