Quand Technology

What is Near Field Communication (NFC)?

Near Field Communication is a short-range wireless connectivity technology based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). RFID cards are also known as "proximity", "proxy" or "contactless cards" and come in three general varieties: passive, semi-passive (also known as semi-active), or active. NFC tags are essentially the same as RFID passive contactless cards (minus the "card").

NFC allows people to use the simple act of touching or placing their device -- such as the Samsung SGH-X700 or Nokia 6131 NFC pictured here -- close to something to initiate a service. In simple terms, NFC creates a connection by performing a "handshake" between two devices that are brought close together; NFC removes the need for the user to perform manual configurations. Once the connection is established - within milliseconds - information can be exchanged between the two devices using either NFC directly or via another wireless technology like WiFi, Bluetooth, UWB or ZigBee.

According to ABI Research, half of mobile handsets will support NFC by 2010. The commercial support that the NFC protocol is receiving is best reflected by considering the companies who are the sponsoring members of the NFC Forum, a not-for-profit industry association that promotes the use of NFC short-range wireless interaction in consumer electronics, mobile devices and PCs: HP, Nokia, Samsung, Mastercard, NXP, Sony, Microsoft, Panasonic, Texas Instruments, NEC, Renesas and Visa.

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