NFC is getting a great deal of attention and is being hyped as The Next Big Thing that will change how we use our mobile devices from shopping to interacting with your home to unlocking your car. Many smartphones, laptops, and other devices already come included with some sort of NFC chip in them, like ‘tap-to-pay’ credit cards or the latest “Apple Pay” from Apple, Inc.
What is NFC?It is a short range wireless two-way communication standard that allows you to make transactions by waving or tapping your NFC device over a reader. In a shop, train station or coffee shop it identifies your account (and even your personal preferences, shopping habits, your most frequently traveled route home) and takes payment through an app on your phone. Unlike Bluetooth, no pairing code is needed, “near-field” means it has to be at close range to work, and no internet connection is involved.
NFC and the auto industry: NFC is opening doorsVehicles equipped with near-field communication technology could interact with smartphones to replace traditional car keys. With a wave of your smartphone you can start your car and be on the road; handy if you lose your car keys!
Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing service and BMW’s similar DriveNow program equip their cars with NFC chips; users open the cars by tapping a membership card on the door. (from AutoNews)
Some operating systems in the dashboards of today’s cars already support the wireless protocol. In a 2012 demonstration, QNX, a subsidiary of BlackBerry Ltd., showed how NFC could be used to pair a smartphone with a Porsche Carrera. (see this article)
The chips needed to pair smartphones with cars using NFC would cost a couple of dollars per vehicle, though the cost could be significantly higher if an automaker wants to link a wide range of features — seats, climate control and so on — to a cellphone.
OTHER uses for NFC technology:
While there are still many security issues to be worked out between mobile phone companies, network operators, and banks, the day is coming when you will be able to leave your purse or wallet at home, and have all your transactions for travel, information, and dining accomplished using your smartphone.