With the announcement of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus came lots of talk about NFC, or Near Field Communication. But what exactly is it and what can you use it for?
WHAT IS NFC?
NFC stands for Near Field Communication. It’s a type of wireless connection that sends small amounts of information over very short distances.
It started to become popular in 2011 when Sony and BlackBerry started to add it to their smartphones, letting users easily pair Bluetooth accessories to their phones or make wireless payments.
WHAT CAN NFC BE USED FOR?
Sony has always pushed NFC as the easiest way to connect two Bluetooth devices. Most new Sony electronics come with it, which lets you simply touch your phone to things like your speaker to pair them wirelessly.
But NFC can also be used to make secure, easy payments. London’s Oyster cards use it to let people travel around the city without the need for cash. And EE has recently launched its Cash on Tap app, which lets you pay for things like London travel and sandwiches with your NFC enabled phone.
The new NFC chips in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will work with the new Apple Pay app, which should work similarly to EE’s app to let you make small payments easily and safely.
Samsung, on the other hand, launched its NFC enabled phones with adverts that showed how easy it makes it to send someone your contact details. Just touching two phones together can instantly send a phone number, address, email and more.
SHOULD I USE NFC?
Yes! It’s quick, secure and extremely versatile. Now that all the major phone makers have put NFC chips in their smartphones, and there are loads of apps designed to use NFC, we’ll see the technology work into more parts of our lives.