You’ve probably seen the adverts. A guy just flashes his card over a machine with the result being that a payment is made. The technology behind these payments is called Near Field Communication or NFC for short, this technology is now making its way inside other devices and is no longer limited to just making payments.
Near Field Communication, is exactly what it sounds like. It is a standard which allows devices to establish a connection with each other, by touching them together or by just bringing them near to each other. Think of it as a more reliable Infrared connection, but without having to keep the devices within a centimetre and line of sight.
NFC has found a home more recently in mobile phones as a quick and easy way to share data (often contacts) between two devices, whilst also allowing for quick connection and pairing between devices such as portable wireless speakers. This has its advantages over Bluetooth as you do not need to go through the multiple steps required to set up a connection. NFC has even found its way into some newer printers from Brother (such as PRT2462), with the technology allowing for an easy and quick way to print from your tablet or smartphone by using the provided Brother app.
Much like the oft overlooked QR Codes, NFC is also being used for marketing purposes, with posters and advertising boards like the ones at bus stops often having an NFC tag, which can contain useful information like a web link, a voucher or even a timetable for the bus stop you are at.
NFC certainly has a bright future, with the technology making inroads into lots of different devices, although normally as a more convenient way of pairing two devices together.