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How does NFC work?
Near Field Communication (NFC) – wireless technology
short-range data transmission, which allows the exchange of data between devices located at a distance of about 10 centimeters. The technology is based on magnetic field induction and allows you to quickly connect devices to each other. The implementation of NFC in devices is quite simple: the induction coil generates
electromagnetic field in one device, and the coil in the second device, which is under the influence of the field of the first, creates an electric current, which is later converted into a signal. Thus, the devices alternately create electromagnetic
fields and exchange data, realizing the active mode of operation. In passive mode, only one of the devices generates an electromagnetic field.
The circle of use of devices with NFC is huge, and this is not an exaggeration at all. The technical limitations of the NFC interface make it pointless to transfer large files – speed
too small, and the transmission distance is scanty. But in return, we get an almost instantaneous connection of devices and the ability to transfer contacts, notes and coordinates on the map. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
There are several modes of NFC operation. The NFC chip consists of an inductor that creates a certain radio frequency field and acts on another same field according to a given scenario with a different level of coding. In such a process, NFC technology has two modes of operation: active and passive. With two modes, NFC technology can be used for the following: Read/write mode. The NFC chip works in active mode and reads the passive tag.
An NFC tag is a passive device with data inside. Information can be read only by bringing an active reader to the tag.
Peer-to-peer mode – data exchange between two active devices. It can be like a file, contact transfer, application. In addition, wireless charging is possible.
Card emulation mode. The NFC chip pretends to be a card (passive device), such as a pass or a payment card.
Let us give examples of the use of this technology.
Firstly, NFC allows you to use modern smartphones and smart watches instead of bank cards and loyalty cards. You just need to download the appropriate application and link the card to the service. To pay, you need to bring the smartphone with the back panel to the terminal, wait a few seconds and, lo and behold, the operation is completed. No paper money or plastic cards.
Cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and various stores – the list goes on.
Shopping becomes much more convenient and takes less time.
Smartphones and smart watches with NFC can be used instead of cards at ATMs, even if the card itself is left at home. If you do not use gadgets, it is also more convenient not to insert bank cards, but to attach them to a special NFC mark. The authorization method does not affect
further work with the ATM. After you have attached a card or gadget, a standard menu will open, which you can work with in the usual way.
Secondly, NFC-based contactless transport cards are used in transport, as well as in ski resorts in lift systems and funiculars.
Third, NFC is used for access control or identity verification. The technology allows, in addition to the usual access control, to pay for services and accommodation, create
passes, identity verification, or other permissions.
The simplest example of using NFC is intercoms, where a tag with a key is sewn into the key fob, and there is a tag reader in the device on the door. Hotels also use NFC to control customer flows and access based on privileges.
Guests of such places do not need a physical key, as they can enter the room or visit other areas with only a smartphone. Their credentials are generated in real time, and all transactions
processed directly on the smartphone to avoid leaks or theft of information.
Also, NFC technology can open door locks and many other devices, proving the identity of the owner of the device. So, a smartphone can act as a digital key for a car. Considering that NFC works at a distance of no more than 10 cm, its reliability when transmitting encrypted data required for access is quite high.
At the very least, intercepting an NFC signal will be more difficult than getting data from a car alarm key fob. You can use your smartphone instead of a pass to the office. So, by attaching the device, it will be possible to enter work without a special card, the data of which
save the application.
NFC also allows secure access to medical information. The technology is used to control access to computers, tablets and other devices.
Medical bracelets with NFC allow you to track the movements of patients. Staff can find out in real time where the patient is, when the nurse last visited him or what treatment his doctor prescribed. Bracelets can be connected to smartphones or
tablets so that they can transmit data to the attending physician.
NFC smart wristbands also help track patients with life-threatening conditions such as diabetes,
asthma or allergies. In the event of an emergency, the bracelet will provide detailed information to emergency doctors.
Finally, NFC tags are added to the packaging or labeling of a drug to verify its authenticity, view detailed dosage information, or read about side effects.
The tag can also contain a web link to the manufacturer’s website. As we understood from the text, NFC technology is used in almost all spheres of life, so it is worth talking about its security.
During card emulation, information is transmitted to the terminal using a digital identifier, which is encrypted. In this case, the number
cards are not read. In terms of security, on the positive side, the apparent lack of technology manifests itself – a modest range.
It will be difficult to intercept data, since
for this, the interceptor device must be at a distance of less than 4 centimeters. Plus, the payment will only go through if the user confirms the purchase with a fingerprint or digital code.
We hope your smartphone has NFC and you have the opportunity to use it so easily in your life. We can also help you with the development of a mobile application with any modern technology.