If you have noticed anyone making a payment with the tap of their cell phone, you have seen Near Field Communication in action. NFC was first available on Android in 2010. And while Apple Pay has been available for some time, not until recently have third-party developers gained access to the NFC chip on iPhones. Now that Near Field Communication will be readily available on most cell phones, and not just for payment apps, the door opens for a wide range of uses for this technology.
A Near Field Chip contains a memory radio chip and an antenna. It is not equipped with battery power, rather draws its power from another source, such as a smart phone.
So, what exactly is Near Field Communication?
NFC uses magnetic field induction to enable communication between two devices, such as smartphones, tablets or near field chips/tags. When you “tap” two NFC devices together, or bring them within around 2-4 centimeters apart from each other, data can be transferred.
Beyond allowing smartphones to be used as a payment method, NFC can be extended to a variety of applications including identification, ticketing, loyalty cards and transit access. NFC allows access by just a tap or wave for many personal applications such as PC log-in, opening a locked car door, or enabling blue tooth on a docking system in a car or at home.
Check out the link below for a great NFC demonstration through our EMS Sign Post application. EMS Sign Post allows current medical information to be securely accessed by First Responders, with just a tap of a phone, at the time of an emergency.
Applications municipalities may consider for NFC include placing tags on ballfield signs enabling residents to tap their phone to the chip and immediately gain access to booking a field for practice. The same application can be used to rent park facilities. Or NFC tags can be placed around town to provide historical information, or current schedules.
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