Definition

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless connectivity standard (Ecma-340, ISO/IEC 18092) that uses magnetic field induction to enable communication between devices when they're touched together, or brought within a few centimeters of each other. Jointly developed by Philips and Sony, the standard specifies a way for the devices to establish a peer-to-peer (P2P) network to exchange data. After the P2P network has been configured, another wireless communication technology, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, can be used for longer range communication or for transferring larger amounts of data.

Here are some examples of how NFC can be used:

  • You could take pictures with a cell phone with a built in camera, and touch an enabled computer or television set to transmit the images for display;
  • You could download applications or games to a handheld device by touching the computer;
  • In conjunction with another wireless technology, you could transfer large files between two devices, such as a laptop and a desktop, simply by touching the two together.

This was last updated in May 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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