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If you’re going out, basically you’re taking with you your mobile phone, wallet and keys. Your wallet contains your credit card, customer loyalty reward cards, coupons, and lots more. But thanks to NFC (Near Field Communication) all you have to take with you from now on is your mobile phone.

So what exactly is NFC?
NFC is a technology that enables transfer of data from a device like a mobile phone to another device or tag. The devices will have chips that work on radio frequencies and antennas. As the name indicates, such transfer occurs only when the two devices are in a short distance. You might be thinking that that’s what Bluetooth does; well you’re right, but NFC is more secure and fast. Because of its short range, data transmitted via NFC will be safe especially in crowded place, and it takes a millisecond to connect instead of having to enter a pairing code between the two devices. So all you have to do is tap your phone that has all your information to an NFC machine.

Fields of use

  • Payment: After shopping all your groceries and products, you just need to tap your phone instead of your credit card to a machine and the machine transforms your bank info and voila it’s paid.
  • Social networks: You can use NFC technology to check in at an offline event. But we’re already using Foursquare, aren’t we? Yes, but with Foursquare you can check in at the mall in your city while you’re sitting at the comfort of your own couch at home; while with NFC technology, checking in requires you be at the mall and tap your phone to the NFC tag there.
  • Transportation: No more bus tickets, cash and coins. Just tap your mobile phone and pay.
  • Contact info: You can send your contact information from your mobile to another mobile just by tapping the phones.
  • Health care: NFC can be used in giving medical professionals information about the patient and treatment needed. It also can be used for medical staff like nurses to track their visits to the patient’s room.
  • Gaming: You can play games on your phone with your friend just by tapping the phones together.
  • Smart objects: Let’s say at school for example, students will scan an NFC tag to check their schedule. Or you can use your mobile to scan NFC tag at the theater to check the movies schedule or latest trailers.

NFC chips cost lots of money, but more and more mobile phones companies are installing that technology into the handsets. NFC was first introduced in 2004 with Nokia, Sony and Philips; and growing fast nowadays.