There’s a lot of talk these days about NFC. The technology is coming soon in Android devices, has been rumored to be coming in the next iPhone, is already existent in some Nokia devices, and is listed as a spec in all the new BlackBerry devices we have seen leaked for 2011. Near Field Communication, or NFC as its more widely known, is a technology that uses high-frequency waves to communicate at short distances. Read on past the break for a more detailed explanation of NFC and some examples of its use.
First, lets take an example we will all be familiar with. You’re on the morning commute and you stop in at the local Quick Mart to get your morning cup of coffee. You rummage through the change compartment in your car to find that 69 cents you’ll need for your coffee. Now, imagine instead of having to look for the change or break a dollar, you just tap your BlackBerry on the checkout counter and your bank account is automatically debited for that coffee. Sound pretty good? Thats where NFC is going at the moment, but there are tons more applications that will be possible with this technology.
Think business cards. You probably have a few in your wallet or card case and a small collection from businesses or colleagues in a folder at home. Imagine not having to carry physical business cards but having a digital copy on your BlackBerry. To exchange cards with a colleague you would just touch your BlackBerry to theirs (or their iPhone or Android device) and your cards would be traded. Some other possible applications for NFC include electronic tickets for things like airplanes and concerts, Identification documents such as passports or driver licenses, electronic keys for cars and homes, and many more.
Here’s a little on the technical aspects of NFC for those interested. NFC operates at a frequency of 13.56 MHz and can transfer data at a speed of 424 Kbits/second. NFC technology allows for simultaneous reading and writing from a single device. NFC is implemented through process that are ISO, ECMA, and ETSI certified. NFC is an inherently secure technology due to the distance requirement. Most NFC chips operate at a range of between 4 and 20 cm. NFC devices can communicate with each other by either having one waved over the other or by having the two devices touch each other.
NFC is being rapidly implemented into mobile phones, including BlackBerry. As the technology continues to prove itself and more businesses and government sectors begin to adopt the technology and its standards, we should see a huge rise in the use of NFC. Today, NFC looks like the technology that can bring this world one step closer to the paperless society that many technophiles dream of. I hope that this has been an informative introduction to NFC and if you have any questions on the implementation of NFC into your BlackBerry please feel free to shoot me an email at Justin (at) TheBerryFix.com or message me on twitter: @jclisenby.