Technology is soon going to take the world over into it’s hands through this communication gateway. We are constantly experiencing the launch of new technologies every year and now the biggest buzz in mobile technology is the NFC (Near Field Communication). NFC is a new technology based on radio communication that are being incorporated into the smartphones allowing NFC sensor chip to communicate by simply tapping with NFC enabled phones or bring it to a close proximity. In this article we will look at the benefits of NFC technology and find out some NFC phones and how the London’s biggest network TFL is using the technology for the upcoming Olympics 2012.
In 2004, Nokia, Sony and Phillips have established the Near Field Communication Forum (NFC Forum) to promote NFC and certifies device compliance along with its 150 members and in 2006 the initial specifications of the NFC Tags were introduced along with specifications for SmartPoster records. With several NFC trials and tests, Nokia in the same year 2006 released the first NFC enabled phone “Nokia 6131″.
Benefits of NFC Enabled Phones?
In London and around other parts of the world, time management on a daily basis is one of the biggest factor. Everyone are in a constant rush to either go to work, office, travel, school, university, lunch, dinner and so on, NFC technology in mobile phones makes like simpler by helping to reduce time in things we do everyday. Let’s list some of the benefits of NFC technology and see if these benefits are something that would make life easier for us.
1. NFC enabled devices currently used in credit cards and electronic ticket smartcards, can be used in contactless payment systems, allowing to make mobile based payments to replace chip and pin system.
2. NFC could be used to replace the pairing steps in Bluetooth connections or also in the configuring of WiFi connections, making transfers and communication easier and faster.
3. NFC can be used in social networking such as in facebook, twitter, Google plus and many more for sharing photos, contacts, videos, favourite games, files and playing networking mobile games.
4. NFC enabled phones and devices to act as electronic identity documents and keycards, reducing expensive security systems.
5. NFC phones can be used for instant payments of food and any goods and also for coupon collection an alternative to credit or debit card payments.
6. Information exchange such as schedules, business cards, contacts, maps, send a text message, dial a phone number, open a vCard, open a website link, download a mobile app etc (within few hundred milliseconds) simply by tapping two NFC enabled phones or devices reducing the pain of pairing devices to transfer files.
7. NFC smartphones can be used for transferring images, posters for displaying and printing.
The above benefits are to list few, there will be many more benefits of the NFC enabled phones and devices as the technology progresses.
What Is A NFC Tag?
With NFC being the set of standards for smaprtphones and similar devices to establish radio communication among each other simply by touching together or bringing to close proximity, communication is also possible between an unpowered NFC chip and an NFC enabled devices and such a communication is called a “Tag”. Many mobile manufacturers are shipping their new smartphones with few NFC Tags with the phone that can be configured for various needs.
NFC Tag technology is not fully matured yet and currently NFC Tags supports NFC Android phones running 2.3.3 or higher with the NFC chip embedded into the hardware. There are several NFC enabled smartphones that are launched in UK and for the technology to completely evolve would take few more years. Later in this article we will look into few NFC enabled phones and some of the upcoming NFC phones to launch by the end of 2012.
NFC Enabled Phones With Oyster Integration?
According to NFC World, Transport For London (TFL) have tested the system in 2008 and will be implementing and replacing its 20,000 oyster card readers with contactless card readers (NFC enabled) to tackle the busy period of the London 2012 Olympics.
List of NFC Enabled Phones?
In 2010 Samsung Nexus S was the first Android NFC enabled phone with Android being the first to incorporate the NFC technology before the Apple’s iPhone. There are rumours that the next-generation iPhone (Apple iPhone 5) that is due in Q4 would be NFC enabled.
In certain part of UK and many countries such as Germany, Austria and Latvia have started NFC ticketing systems for public transport, where as China is using it all over the country for public bus transport. India is currently implementing the NFC technology in box offices for ticketing purpose and there are reports of implementation of the NFC technology in other parts of the world by 2013 and 2014.
Below are few of the NFC enabled phones:
1. HTC One X
2. HTC One XL
3. Nexus S
4. Google Nexus S 4G
5. Samsung Galaxy S II (not all versions)
6. Samsung Galaxy Note (not all versions)
7. Galaxy Nexus
8. HTC Amaze 4G
9. Huawei Sonic T20
10. Huawei Sonic (U8650NFC-1)
11. Sony Xperia S
12. Sony Xperia P
13. Sony Xperia SOLA
14. Nokia 6212 Classic
15. Nokia 6131 NFC
16. Nokia 3220 + NFC Shell
17. Nokia 5140(i) + NFC Shell
18. Nokia 603
19. Nokia 700/701
21. Nokia C7/ Nokia N9
22. Nokia Lumia 610 NFC
23. Samsung S5230 Tocco Lite/Star/Player One/Avila
24. Samsung SGH-X700 NFC
25. Samsung Wave 578/ Samsung Wave Y
26. Motorola L7 (SLVR)
27. Blackberry Bold 9790
28. BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930
29. BlackBerry Torch 9810/9860
30. Blackberry Curve 9350/9360/9370
(list taken from wikipedia)
In 2nd May 2011, RIM announced that Blackberry Bold 9900, will use the NFC technology, followed by Microsoft announced in Feb 2012, that all Windows Phone 8 devices will be NFC enabled devices. EAT (UK restaurant/fast-food chain) along with Everything Everywhere (Orange/T-Mobile UK mobile phone operator) partnered on the UK’s first nationwide NFC enabled smartposter (mobile phone app triggered when NFC enabled phone or device comes in contact with the smartposter) campaign.
Looking at the above list of NFC enabled phones launched in 2012, it is reported according to Berg Insight (analyst firm) that if the trend continues like these from the mobile manufactures there would be a compound estimated increase in NFC devices to reach 700 million units to be shipped in 2016 increasing from 30 million units compared to 2011.