Near Field Communication or NFC, is a short-range high frequency wireless
communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over
about a 10 centimeter (around 4 inches) distance. The
technology is a simple extension of the ISO/IEC 14443 proximity-card standard (proximity card, RFID) that combines the
interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device. An NFC device can
communicate with both existing ISO/IEC 14443 smartcards and readers, as well as
with other NFC devices, and is thereby compatible with existing contactless
infrastructure already in use for public transportation and payment. NFC is
primarily aimed at usage in mobile phones.
NFC technology is currently mainly aimed at being used with mobile phones.
There are three main use cases for NFC:
- card emulation: the NFC device behaves like an existing contactless card
- reader mode: the NFC device is active and read a passive RFID tag, for
example for interactive advertising
- P2P mode: two NFC devices are communicating together and exchanging
Plenty of applications are possible, such as:
- Mobile ticketing in public transport — an extension of the existing
contactless infrastructure.Such as Mobile Phone Boarding Pass. 
- Mobile payment —
the device acts as a debit/ credit payment card.
- Smart poster — the mobile phone is used to read RFID tags on outdoor billboards in order to get
info on the move.
- Bluetooth pairing — in the future pairing of Bluetooth 2.1 devices with NFC
support will be as easy as bringing them close together and accepting the
pairing. The process of activating Bluetooth on both sides, searching, waiting,
pairing and authorization will be replaced by a simple "touch" of the mobile
Other applications in the future could include:
ticketing — airline tickets, concert/event
tickets, and others
- Travel cards
- Mobile commerce
- Electronic keys — car keys, house/office
keys, hotel room keys, etc.
- NFC can be used to configure and initiate other wireless network connections
such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Ultra-wideband.
A patent licensing program for NFC is currently under development by Via
Licensing Corporation, an independent subsidiary of Dolby
A Public platform independent Near Field Communication (NFC) library is
released under the free GNU Lesser General Public
License by the name libnfc.
In December 2008 the application eCL0WN was released which
allows you to read and copy the chip content of biometric passports.