NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication, is a feature that is slowly being adopted by handheld devices. Most people have the rough idea that this is a means of sharing data without the hassle of having to deal with any cumbersome connectivity issues. Indeed, this is partially true since it is aimed at easing communication between NFC enabled devices that are within each other’s proximity. This is achieved by basically tapping the two devices together and, voila, the task is done. Despite this, there are other features of NFC, and tasks that can be achieved courtesy of this technology. Subsequently, let’s take a look at the top five NFC features.
- App Launching.
This can be achieved through NFC tags. These tags are tiny microchips onto which instructions can be pre-set for later use by an NFC enabled device linked to the tag. These commands are input into the tag through applications such as NFC Task Launcher (Android) that enable read and write capabilities on the tag. An App can simply be launched by the tag after the command has been input through the corresponding applications. A scenario is whereby you set a command that enables Google Maps to be launched once you get in your car. You may fix a tag in the dock where you put your phone while driving. Through this, Maps will be automatically launched immediately you enter your vehicle and put your phone in this dock.
- At Bedside
In most cases, most people have to set alarms and toggle other settings such as ringtone volume and brightness while they are about to go to bed. Through NFC and tags, you can actually pre-set your typical settings into the tag and every time you go to bed, you just place your phone on the tag and the settings are automatically effected onto the device. This makes it much easier and reduces the time you have to fumble with your phone’s settings on a daily basis. Quite cool.
- Business Cards.
Generally, most individuals who have business cards have a plastic or hard paper card onto which details such as their contacts are printed. This is not that bad, but picture a scenario where NFC technology is integrated onto business card such that a simple tap on such a card takes one to the owner’s online website from where the résumé and other more detailed info can be retrieved. Yeah, that’s possible with NFC.
- Mobile Wallet
Cashless systems are slowly but steadily being adopted by most payment systems all over the globe. The benefits are pretty obvious in view of the security risk that exists in carrying loads of money. NFC spans the horizon, especially through platforms such as Google Wallet. With the right systems, one can just tap, nay, swipe their phone and any transaction is catered for that easily.
- Beaming Data
It would be unfair to leave out one of the most obvious uses for which NFC is most likely being used, or is known for. Through Android Beam and such other platforms, sharing data is easier than ever since data can be beamed across NFC-enabled devices. Android Beam essentially works under Bluetooth, but it makes it much easier since it turns on Bluetooth on both devices, pairs them, sends the object, and finishes up by turning off Bluetooth on both devices. This is overly helpful in situations where you have to scroll through loads of Bluetooth devices while trying to send data to a friend, or situations where there are more than one device with the same name and you are not sure which is which.
Technology is ever expanding, and for NFC, this is just but a start. The future looks quite bright.