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A NEW TECH­NOL­OGY MAKES IN­TER­AC­TION BE­TWEEN TWO PHONES OR DE­VICES A MAT­TER OF BRUSH­ING EACH OTHER. WITH NEAR-FIELD COM­MU­NI­CA­TIONS, MON­E­TARY OR SER­VICE TRANS­AC­TIONS AND TRANS­FER OF DATA IS SET TO BRIDGE ALL DIS­TANCES.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - MOBILES - TEXT BY NIDHI SIN­GAL & IL­LUS­TRA­TIONS BY SAN­TOSH KUSH­WAHA

Not long ago, only a few had heard about NFC, or Near-field Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. But all of a sud­den, this tech­nol­ogy has be­come the new buzz­word in the mo­bile space. Ev­ery­one seems to be talk­ing about NFC, but not many even know what it means or what is it ca­pa­ble of do­ing.

Near Field Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is a promis­ing tech­nol­ogy that es­tab­lishes con­nec­tion be­tween two sim­i­larly en­abled de­vices over a ra­dio fre­quency, but only within a close range of less than 4 cm. In other words, NFC acts as an en­abler negat­ing the need for any pro­gram­ming to pair the de­vices with each other. In­stead, any two NFC en­abled phones or a phone and an Nfc-en­abled tag can pair by just tap­ping against each other.

The tech­nol­ogy has been around since 2004, but it is only re­cently that it has be­come avail­able on de­vices and hand­sets. All this while, some of the big­gest names tech­nol­ogy in the in­dus­try have been per­fect­ing the tech­nol­ogy. Now, it has be­come the next big thing in the mo­bile sec­tor with a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tions from from con­tent trans­fer to mo­bile pay­ments.

As the tech­nol­ogy op­er­ates in a very limited range, it is ideal for se­cure trans­ac­tions. NFC is al­ready be­ing put to use for low-value shop­ping trans­ac­tions in many coun­tries. If the ini­tial im­ple­men­ta­tion is suc­cess­ful, there could be a time when our mo­biles will also act as our dig­i­tal wal­let, let­ting us pay for any­thing from travel to food and movie tick­ets by just tap­ping the de­vice against a pro­grammed NFC tag. There is also wide scope for NFC in the health­care sec­tor as records of a pa­tient’s his­tory can be stored in an NFC tag which can be ac­cessed by med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als—again at a tap. Till then, how­ever, NFC is be­ing used for in­stant pair­ing of two de­vices for shar­ing small amounts of data (close to 100 kb) and for ini­ti­at­ing larger trans­fers of con­tacts, pho­tos, videos or even multi-player gam­ing via Blue­tooth.

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