You might be hearing lot of news about Near Field Communication(NFC) in the recent times. There are many high end devices currently includes Near Field Communication technology. So you might be wondering what this Near Field Communication is all about. I am trying to answer that question for you and make you understand how that could change our future life.
In simple words Near Field Communication technology is like Bluetooth technology or WiFi. But it defers them in many areas. I will first talk about NFC then you can make out differences between other technologies easily.
What is Near Field Communication(NFC)
Near Field Communication Technology lets you to do simplified transactions and data exchange between two devices wirelessly. Important part is that it only allows you to connect to devices in the very close proximity. Usually distance should be within few centimetres. By now you might be wondering how this helps you as you have to be very near to devices that you want to share information with. But that is the advantage of this device.
How this will be included in your device
NFC will be included in devices as a small chip. This can be included in any electronic device. Mostly it is targeted to include in mobile devices and retail cash collecting machines.
Is it secure?
It transmits encrypted data like Bluetooth and WiFi(only if you make it secure). Although communication range of NFC is few centimetres, it does not ensure security. Ernst Haselsteiner and Klemens Breitful revealed few possible types of attacks. They detailed how to leverage NFC’s resistance to Man in the middle attacks to establish a specific key.
It is completely depends on multiple parties to implement this technology more security. Device manufacturers should work together to implement higher-layer cryptographic protocols to make it more secure. As a end user you need to make sure you enable all levels of security for your device like passwords, keypad locks and antivirus.
Who are the manufacturers currently supporting this?
Currently there are many international companies supporting this technology and working towards implement this.
NFC has forum called 140 NFC which includes Rogers, Sony Ericsson, LG, Nokia, Huawei, HTC, Motorola, NEC, RIM, Samsung, Toshiba, AT&T, Sprint, SK, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Intel, TI, Qualcomm, and NXP.
Who is already included/implemented this?
Commercially Google is the first company to use this technology in the mobile payments spectrum with Citi Bank and MasterCard. This service called Google Wallet. This is not yet functional but it is expected to introduce in United States in few days.
How this will change my life?
NFC can be used not only payment services but also social media, localised advertisements, smart tag based items and many more. One use case we can talk about apart from payment is:
You go to a shop and there are many items with NFC chip included on their package. You can just put your device near to that product and get all information about it instantly. There are many other many use cases possible with it and it really changes our life.
Here is Google Nexus S running with NFC
What do you think about this new technology? We love to hear from you.