Jul 10, 2012

Near Field Communication, will be The Feature of Smartphone?

Today's world is ever growing and so is the technology that modifies the way we connect and communicate with each other. NFC is one of the technologies, which is used as a communication tool. NFC is similar to Bluetooth but instead of two devices working together in conjunction, NFC establishes a connection with simple touch.

So why are some of the world's most powerful organizations so thrilled about it?

NFC at a glance

NFC is a new technology for SmartPhones and tablets to set up a radio communication between two devices by touching them together or by placing them near to each other. Contactless connections allows user to pattern the Smartphone over a NFC appropriate device to provide information without demanding to touch the devices together or go through several steps for developing connection. Near Field Communication preserves inter operability between different wireless connection techniques like Bluetooth and other NFC standards. Near Field Communication is secure and easy to use with the updated version of technology. NFC allows you to communicate with other devices containing a ‘NFC tag’. NFC is also used to make peer to peer communication to send and receive data.

By developing credit cards, coupons all into one device, a customer can board a train, pay for food, receive offers or store reward points, and even return information and all this on your Smartphone!!! Quicker transaction times means less holding out in line and happier customers. So who's currently using the NFC technological innovation and cellular payments? The recent new application offered by Google named “Google wallet” works on NFC technology.

Working of NFC

NFC is built on the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to make communication between devices easier and without disruption. NFC works on three forms: Type A, Type B, FeliCa.

NFC mainly uses two types of devices it may be active or passive. A passive device like, “NFC tag”, contains the information which can be readable by other devices but it can’t read any information by itself. While Active devices can both read and send information between devices. Smartphone is a type of active device, which collects the information with the help of NFC Tags and can exchange the information with other compatible devices.

NFC operates at 13.56 MHz on ISO/IEC 18000-3 to do wireless communication and rates ranging from 106 Kbit/s to 424 Kbit/s. NFC require an area of 4 cm or less to communicate.

Life after introduction of NFC?

Smart objects: NFC can be an alternative for barcode readers with more amazing NFC tags and allow Smartphone users to connect and get details such as a bus schedule or discover more about a product they want to purchase. NFC technology is designed with relaxation when learning, buying, and providing details.

Health care: NFC tags can provide doctors and other medical personnel about patient’s treatments and all other relevant details about him.

Contactless payment: NFC uses a short range wireless technology, which is beneficial to make a secure transaction with the help of contactless credit card payments. MasterCard and Visa both involved a pilot program that use NFC enabled phones for flash payment option.

Transportation: NFC can easily integrate into the transportation system to make payment with the smart card swipe. So it’s time to bid goodbye to paper tickets!!!

NFC Vs. Bluetooth
  • NFC consumes less power than standard Bluetooth technology
  • NFC doesn't need any manual set up to make connection between devices like Bluetooth device. It connects automatically which makes it faster and easier to set up than any other device. 
  • NFC can be used in combination with Bluetooth to computerize and expedite the pairing process
  • NFC does transmission without severing the connection, which might not be possible in the current technology like Bluetooth and WiFi.
  • NFC can also be used in large no of apps to make easy and secure payments with use of your SmartPhones, media sharing, consumer electronics and many more.

Possible Risks with NFC

With this new contactless technology set to become a considerable element of our lifestyle, people have some genuine and understandable security concerns. When using new techniques, the best way to protected you against potential drawbacks is to know the risks associated with them.

Eavesdropping is the main concerns with NFC technology. Eavesdropping occurs when a third party intercepts the signal sent between two devices. If that third party intercepted a data indication between a mobile phone and a credit card reader then, theoretically, they would have access to that person's credit card details. They might also pick up other private restricted information passed between two mobile phones.

Another security issue is data modification or corruption. This happens when a third party intercepts the signal being sent, changes it, and provides it on its way. Receiver may get broken or changed information. In some circumstances, the attacker generally wants to prevent the appropriate information from getting through. This is often known as a denial of service attack.

Avoiding security risks with NFC

Even though there is a risk with NFC, NFC offers valuable services to its customers. Often NFC generates a secure channel and used encryption techniques for sending sensitive information, making them tuff to access.

For clients to decrease the risks of having their information leaked, or even their real Smartphone itself, they should password protected their Smartphone’s and set up an anti-virus program. The anti-virus software protects against viruses and other attacks from dangerous applications that an individual may instantly acquire onto the Smart phone. Having a value on the Smartphone protects it in the occasion of a physical theft so it’s just useless when it’s stolen or lost.

NFC is working on Smartphone devices which can be blocked remotely; it can be easy to block it completely so it’s useless for others to access your information or to do payment from your phone while it is stolen. Even you can access limited amount of transaction if it reaches its amount limit. And there are no possibilities to use it unauthorized.

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