Near field communication, known as NFC, may sound like a dry technical specification. In many ways it is. However, NFC applications should be considered.
Android smartphones have had an NFC connection for many years, while Apple iPhones previously had a feature-limited version. However, both platforms use wireless technology for contactless charging, headset pairing, and some degree of automation.
If you want to make the most of NFC applications, we’ll show you how.
What is NFC?
NFC (Near Field Communication) enables wireless data transfer between two nearby electronic devices. Officially, NFC supports distances up to 1.5 inches, but in practice it can be up to 4 inches.
Usually this happens in two forms; communication between devices or readable tags. While it is possible to get two devices to interact via NFC, there are usually better ways to achieve this using either physical cables or other wireless technologies such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Contactless payments are facilitated through NFC. So when you walk into a local store and pay on your phone using Google Pay or Apple Pay, the store is initiated via NFC.
The primary method of interaction is then between a smartphone-like device and a readable NFC tag. These tags are small, cheap and powerless. This is possible because a reader, often your smartphone, can create a radio frequency field that adds a tag.
Android devices have brought NFC since the beginning of the smartphone, but Apple decided to withhold support on the iPhone. However, when the company introduced the contactless payment system Apple Pay, introduced by NFC, they began incorporating these wireless chips into iPhones.
Prior to iOS 11, the company limited access to Apple Pay only. However, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 and later with iOS 13 or later now support contactless payments, the ability to read NFC tags and the ability to write them as well.
This brings both mobile environments one step apart, allowing you to use NFC on your Android smartphone or iPhone. However, the specifications of Android phones differ considerably, so NFC support is not guaranteed. This is especially true at the affordable end of the market, where other features are given priority.
What do you need
If you own an NFC-enabled smartphone, you will need to purchase some NFC tags before you leave. NFC tags are available in many types, from low cost to low cost industrial use.
You can take advantage of the following NFC applications by placing rewritable NFC tags in a series. Although a wide range of tags is available, Timeskey NFC stickers (10 pcs) are valuable, can be rewritten, and are easy to place where you need them.
You also need to download the NFC tag reader app to your smartphone. NFC-enabled iPhones can read tags without additional software, but your experience may vary on Android.
There are many apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store that can type tags. One of the best options is NXP’s NFC TagWriter. The app is available for both mobile platforms and is easy to use.
The best way to use NFC
Once you’ve got a compatible smartphone, rewritable NFC tags, and downloaded a tag writing app, you can start taking advantage of NFC. Because tags can be rewritten, you can try your own automatic installation. However, there are many NFC uses you can start with right away.
1. Connect to a Wi-Fi network immediately
Wi-Fi passwords are long and complicated. This makes connecting to the network a pain. If you prefer to replace that cumbersome process with a single touch, you can enter your Wi-Fi password in the NFC tag. Android and iOS support this feature, so tapping the tag will bring up the details of your Wi-Fi connection and get you online without any interference.
If you like this idea, but would rather have something a little more formal, consider a product like this Wifi-porter. The device is a well-designed, easy-to-use NFC device that does the same thing. Not sure yet? Look our review of Wifi Porter
Wifi porter: an easy way to keep guests connected
2. Take yourself out of bed
Waking up in the morning can be a significant challenge. For some people, even the most ruthless alarm clock doesn’t help. In this case, consider using an NFC tag to motivate you out of bed instead. Apps like Sleep because Android integrates alerts with NFC tags using in-app captchas apps.
They are designed to make sure that you have acted by interacting with a physical object. Use the application to write an NFC-based captcha. The only way to turn off the alarm is to encourage you out of bed, find an NFC sticker, and tap your phone against it.
3. Launch the website
Sometimes you want to redirect someone to a specific website. This can be a bit tricky, especially if it’s not a simple website address. Instead of typing a long random URL, you can type the URL into an NFC tag. When tapped, it loads the user’s mobile browser and directs them directly to the desired site.
4. Automatically switch to driving mode
iPhone users know that when they arrive in a vehicle and connect to an in-car entertainment system, the phone automatically enters driving mode. This dampens notifications and optimizes settings for the trip. While some Android smartphones can do this, most don’t.
If you want to automate this process, you can write tasks to the NFC tag. When you place the car inside, tapping the phone can perform functions such as Do Not Disturb, enable or disable data, and open the navigation application.
Some NFC tagging apps, like Trigger on Android, let you set a toggle switch to turn functions on. So the first tap allows driving mode, while the second can disable it and restore the phone to normal operation.
5. Make payments
As mentioned earlier, NFC allows contactless payments when using services such as Google Pay or Apple Pay. In many places around the world, contactless payments have become common. In fact, in many U.S. grocery and convenience stores, contactless is the recommended method of payment.
Both Apple Pay and Google Pay let you track your expenses, analyze your habits, and save coupons. In addition, choosing NFC payments means you no longer have to carry other payment methods with your phone.
6. Automate common call tasks
Android and iOS now have methods to automate regular tasks, but they don’t always offer the kind of flexibility you have. With NFC, you can set shortcuts to activities such as calling a specific friend or family member, opening the camera, or performing a favorite streaming service when you leave the house.
If you want a more efficient way to automate these shortcuts, consider investing in a series DIMPLE Smart buttons. These physical buttons stay on the back of the smartphone near the NFC chip. When pressed, they activate a custom NFC task that you can set through DIMPLE.
7. Share media
If you’re creating videos on YouTube, streaming on Twitch, or releasing music on Spotify, one of the biggest challenges is getting people to see your content first. You can overcome this hurdle with NFC.
It’s possible to embed a link in the NFC tag of your work and then strategically attach it somewhere that interests people. Just find out what’s in the tag, as people might be careful significant NFC security issues
5 NFC security issues to consider before the next contactless payment
Best use for NFC
NFC chips have changed the way we interact with the world around us. These cheap electronic components have enabled contactless payment systems such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, made physical tickets useless, and made home automation an affordable reality.
While NFC is undoubtedly useful, like all technologies, it is also exposed to security issues. Before you consider wireless technology, you may want to read about how to run a controlling NFC hacker works
How Does Drive-By NFC Hacking Work?