5 Real-Life Uses For NFC Technology

5 Real-Life Uses For NFC Technology

Near Field Communication (NFC) is one of those technologies that seemed to have snuck into society. I am not sure how that happened but it just seems to be everywhere doing all sorts of things.

You might know it as Tap-And-Go where you simply touch your phone or a card against another device and it automatically does what it is supposed to. From opening doors to making payments NFC is in use on a daily basis.

How did NFC start

It’s a set of communication protocols that allow communication between two devices. NFC is the ultimate connectivity technology that makes your smartphone, payment cards, tablet, watch, and similar devices even smarter. Even though NFC became a widespread trend through the payment-card sector, this technology was used long before.

NFC was developed via radio-frequency identification, which has been used for decades by retailers to track products within stores. It finally blossomed in 2004, when Sony, Philips, and Nokia formed the NFC Forum and raised awareness regarding the convenience of NFC. 

NFC today 

Very often, when we talk about NFC, we imagine contactless payments. For instance, when you head to your local store and pay using your phone, Apple Pay or Google Pay, the transaction is initiated using NFC technology. That means you’ve used your phone and the NFC reading device.

It was possible because the reading device, or in this case, your phone, generated a Radio Frequency (RF) field that powered the NFC tag. The tag draws power from another device and sends the radio waves to activate the antenna in the receiving device. It only works a short distance, approximately 4 inches.  

Here are 5 real-life use examples for NFC tags: 

  • Connect to your car 

If you are one of those people that connect to their in-car entertainment system as soon as they step into the vehicle, now you know that you can use an NFC tag to turn on your Bluetooth. This way, your smartphone will connect to your radio or headset so that you can blast your favorite playlist. In case you need to use your GPS to navigate, you can turn on Google Maps via the NFC tag and disable turning off the screen while charging. 

Also, iPhone users have experienced this annoying struggle. For instance, when you get into your car, your phone automatically enters Driving Mode. This feature optimizes your setup for the journey but also silences the notifications.

With an NFC tag, you can automate the process. When you place it inside the vehicle, tap on your phone to perform actions like ‘Do not disturb’, turn on and off, and open your navigation app. 

  • Easy Printing

Ever needed to print something in a hurry? That is typically when the computer doesn’t respond, needs to be updated, new drivers installed blah blah blah. With NFC-enabled printers, simply walk up to the printer, tap your phone and you can print!

  • Business cards are dead

If you want to hand someone a business card, they have to remember that its from you, add it to their contact list manually, and hopefully not make any mistake. Typically they only add the basic info such as name, email, and cell number.

If you have an NFC business card, all they need to do is tap your card on their phone and it will automatically add your info to their contacts along with any website links and info you want to share.

This is really useful at networking events where you can share your One-Page portfolio or resume at a touch of a button.

nfc business cards

  • Instantly connect to WiFi 

Who remembers their passwords these days? Usually, WiFi passwords are complicated, lengthy, and hard to remember. That’s why many people write them down and struggle in case they need to reconnect to their network.

To make the process less painful, you can replace this complicated procedure with a single tap. Make sure to insert your WiFi password to an NFC tag. Androids, as well as iOS devices, support this feature, so a single tap on the NFC tag will transfer the WiFi connection details without any hassle. 

  • Use NFC-based ID Verification 

Have you ever verified your identity online? Since scammers are getting wiser these days, banks and other similar financial institutions need to comply with stricter regulations to keep their customers’ data safe. One of the most common fraud-prevention methods is digital identity verification. This is where, once again, NFC comes in handy.

Most e-passports, also known as biometric passports) and ID cards are equipped with a microprocessor chip (tag) that contains data of the individual and a micro antenna for the communication with the chip, creating NFC Authentication. It’s an easy process – all you need is your phone, your document, and a few taps. This way, instead of heading to your local bank, you save time by completing the mandatory process safely at home. 

So in summary

NFC is a cool technology that’s designed around tiny chips with big capabilities. As consumers, we want secure, swift services to save time. NFC technology helps simplify daily tasks and is a great tool to connect as well as share data. Thanks to this technology, we can make purchases or even complete digital identity verification with a few taps of our smartphone’s screen. 

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter