FAQ: What are NFC Chips?

If you have a smartphone, there’s a really good chance that it has an NFC chip. However, despite the technology being fairly common in phones over the course of the last few years, it constantly surprises me how few people even use this of nifty technology. And of those who do use it, most don’t actually know what it’s called. No matter which category you fall in, we’ll look at some of the basics to get started.

What is NFC?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. NFC is a type of information transfer by use of short-range radio-frequency identification (RFID) tech. Unlike Bluetooth, which can do similar things to NFC, NFC only works over the space of a few inches–around three or four, generally. It is generally considered to be a bit more secure because of this distance limitation.

Does my phone have NFC?

If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, then yes, you do. If your Android comes with something called Android Beam, then that’s NFC. Quite a few midrange phones nowadays have NFC and most Android devices running Android 4.0 or higher have NFC included. Windows phones sometimes come with NFC chips as well. You can look at your phone’s spec information to see if an NFC chip is included or not, or look through the pull down for the symbol at the top of the article.

What can I do with NFC?

There are a lot of uses for NFC, but the two most common are for payments and transferring information from person to person. Whenever you use a service like Apple Pay or Google Wallet, you’re actually using NFC technology. Your device is sending the payment information to the register, which processes just as if you had swiped a card. Alternatively, via services like Android Beam you can send pictures, HTML addresses, contact information or documents from one phone or device to another. The process works very similar to Bluetooth, but doesn’t require a connection. Just activate the NFC chip on both devices, hold them together and then send the photo. Simple! For more ideas on places you can look to use NFC, check out this article.

Where can I learn more about NFC?

If you’re interested in NFC, there are plenty of great resources on the internet including this article and this website which features all kinds of information on where you can use NFC and how it works.]]>

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