Near Field Communications (NFC) for Tablet Devices

WHAT IS NFC?

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Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology that allows two mobile devices including tablets to exchange data when held closely (less than 4cm) or tapped together. Originally based on the RFID tag system that allows one way communication between devices, NFC can support data transfer two ways and hence, allows communication between not just tablet devices and tags but between two tablet devices themselves (peer to peer transfer).

NFC Tags

nfc tags mtg

NFC Tags can be placed rand stuck on walls, doors, car dashboards, bikes, windows or almost any flat surface. They can be programmed to either transfer small data units like messages, business cards or can even be used to turn on your Wi-fi, music player or adjust brightness on your tablet and other connected devices.

Imagine you arrive for work and all you have to do is tap your tablet on the NFC tag. Your tablet automatically switches to silent mode. It also sends out a message to your boss that you are inside the office or are leaving it.

Even more complex functions can be built into the NFC tags based on the need of the business or for fun purposes.  Visit this site, to order one for yourself and get going.

Most of the NFC devices and tags use the NDEF format (NFC Data exchange format). However, for advanced users and complex functions one can visit the android forum to learn more.

How to use NFC?

To use NFC between two devices, all you have to do is first make sure that the screen on both devices is unlocked. Also, make sure that the NFC feature on your NFC supporting tablet is activated.

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Tap the Tablet or bring it near another NFC enabled Tablet/phone and a Beam message asking permission for message transfer will appear. Allow, beamed message to push through to other device and watch how, it automatically opens up the required app or browser screen or music or message that was passed through.

Other uses

But, having fun with NFC is not just limited to your daily needs of messaging and file transfer. The NFC forum has formed a Special Interests Group that will investigate and handle industry applications of the NFC, meant to make our lives easier. And with Google joining the NFC forum as a principle member, the change is ready to take place at an even higher rate.

Contactless paymet

Microsoft Wallet for Windows 8 and Google Wallet for Android devices are NFC supporting Apps that are already out in the market and allow e-payments with just a tap of the Tablet or phone. The city of Nice, in France,  last year implemented this contactless payment not only in retail outlets but also bank transactions and ticketing services. In India, such schemes are currently underway like the initiative by PVR cinema’s in select cities.

Interactive Gaming

In 2012, NFC enabled Skylander was one of the top selling interactive games in the US and Europe. Rovio mobile’s Angry birds Magic allows, all Nokia enabled NFC devices to unlock new levels just on a tap. With Nintendo about to introduce the NFC in its Wii U gaming Tablet console, toys and gaming are about to undergo a sea of change in the coming future.

Ticketing and Airlines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) may be evaluating the NFC technology for actual implementation throught the world by October this year, however, Air France and Japan Airlines have already experimented with the techonolgy in some parts successfully using the Card emulation technique with places the technology on SIM cards. This allows, NFC transfer even when your device may be switched off. So, passengers can now just tap their phones to validate their tickets before boarding and avoid hassles of a complete identity and ticket checking at terminals.

Google Nexus devices including the Nexus 7 support NFC

Google Nexus devices including the Nexus 7 support NFC

Why NFC?

Apart from the fact that NFC transfer of data and messages is fast and smooth involving only a tap of the device, there are other advantages that put the technology ahead of other technologies like Bluetooth and RFID. NFC does not require the tablets to be paired together and hence, saves time and unnecessary hassle. But the greatest use, and the prime reason why organizations are inclining towards its use is the secure communication that it ensures due to the close distance and protocols that govern it.

Watch this Youtube video here to see how a Windows 8 slate and Nexus 7 share, NFC style.

According to Forrester Research, a 100 million NFC enabled devices were sold in 2012. This figure is expected to rise to 300 million in 2013 and may even climb to 1 billion mark by 2015.  Among all this, the absence of Apple in this technology initiative is puzzling to say the least.

Some NFC enabled tablets in market today:

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