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Preeti Lolla
Preeti Lolla • Feb 7, 2012

A lesser known technology - NEAR-FIELD COMMUNICATIONS !

Near-field communications, NFC in short, is a technology that caught my attention last day.

To elaborate, NFC is a technology that establishes connection between two similarly enabled devices over a radio frequency, but only within a close range of less than 4 cm. It won't be wrong to say that it acts as an enabler negating the need for any programming to pair the devices with each other. Instead, any two NFC enabled phones or a phone and an NFC-enabled tag can pair by just tapping against each other.

The technology has been around since 2004, but it is only recently that it has become available on devices and handsets.

As operating range of the technology is very limited, it is ideal for secure transactions. NFC is already being put to use for low-value shopping transactions in many countries. If the initial implementation is successful, there could be a time when our mobiles will also act as our digital wallet, letting us pay for anything from travel to food and movie tickets by just tapping the device against a programmed NFC tag.

There is also wide scope for NFC in the healthcare sector as records of a patient's history can be stored in an NFC tag which can be accessed by medical professionals-again at a tap. Till then, however, NFC is being used for instant pairing of two devices for sharing small amounts of data (close to 100 KB) and for initiating larger transfers of contacts, photos, videos or even multiplayer gaming via Bluetooth.

"NFC is gaining popularity globally as it can be used widely in enterprise and consumer space. While NFC is already been used in e-commerce, social networking and sharing data between devices globally, it is still in a nascent stage of adoption in India.NFC as a technology is great for consumers as well as enterprises, but in a market like India the biggest challenge is infrastructure readiness for such technology to be adopted at a large scale. Especially, banks in India are yet to be equipped with technology facilities that would help augment e-commerce using NFC technologies," says Ranjan Moses, Carrier Product manager of Research In Motion. There are some other issues too. For instance, at the moment, one cannot pair a Nokia with a BlackBerry phone over NFC. However, NFC promises to soon because an abbreviation that will be in common usage along with USB and LED.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Feb 7, 2012
It's an upcoming technology and Nokia hopes to popularize it. By the way, it's far from being used in eCommerce at the moment. There are prototypes but not many businesses are ready to use NFC.

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