Late last year I put together this short introduction to NFC after recently discovered it myself. Whilst in some areas the technology is not any more developed there are some areas. More and more phones are supporting the technology and some of the confusion of multiple models having the same consumer name with and without NFC seems to have gone. With the recent launch of the iPhone 5s some have noted that it does not support NFC just like at the launch of the iPhone 5. Most comparable Android devices support NFC but Apples launch is yet another snub at the technology.

##What is NFC
A set of standards which define the exchange of data via radio within close proximity where two active devices (phones) can exchange data bi-directionally or an Active devices (e.g. phone) can read passive devices (e.g. tags). The NFC Record Type Definition’s (RTD) define a set of well know data types for exchange which can be text, a URI, a generic control, a Smart Poster (Text + URI) or a Connection Handover instruction for pairing a device over a different protocol (e.g. Bluetooth and WiFi).

##Why do we keep hearing about NFC?
Builds on RFID which is now secretly all around us because for many application the price of tags is at the point of disposable pricing. With these cheap tags been small they can be put into many product. In the case of mobile payments there is a a strong financial motivation for companies been interested in the technology for a chance to take just a fraction of credit and debit card spend (£233b annually in the UK alone, 2011 The UK Cards Association).

A Whistle Stop Introduction to NFC from Christopher Hackett

##Where to next?
For further reading I recommend these three starting points

  • NFC Forum own the spec and license the ‘N mark’
  • Have a look at how NFC is implemented in the Android OS
  • If you are interested in getting some tags RapidNFC are a reputable company with very reasonable prices