Near Field Communications Are Near

By | September 1, 2011

NFC is the acronym for Near Field Communications. So what?

Put simply, near field communications (NFC) let devices (like cell phones) that are close to one another (like 4 inches apart) exchange information (like credit card numbers).

For those who find that too simple, here’s the real deal from Wikipedia: “Near field communication, or NFC, allows for simplified transactions, data exchange, and connections with a touch. Co-invented by NXP Semiconductors and Sony in 2002, NFC technology is being added to a growing number of mobile handsets to enable mobile payments, as well as many other applications.”

NFC also has potential applications for instant file exchange, electronic business cards, friend-to-friend connections, electronic money, and mobile gaming. In fact, The New York Times reported on August 13 that some states (California, Massachussets, Iowa, and District of Columbia) may be turning to online gambling to build revenues), so mobile gaming alone could drive NFC.

In January 2011, the tech blogs got all hot and sweaty about a rumor that the Apple iPad2 and iPhone5 would have NFC. By March, we knew that wasn’t going to happen, but when it does, some observes say it’s going to be huge. For example, MG Sigler at TechCrunch says, “If Apple can nail Near-Field Communication (NFC) and tie it directly into their already-established iTunes payment system, it could change everything. It could transform Apple from the biggest technology company in the world, to the biggest company in the world, period. By far.”

Also “coming soon,” Google Wallet (a mobile app that will “make your phone your wallet”), which, in partnership with Citibank, will let consumers “tap, pay, and save.”

In short [as they say]: What’s in your wallet?

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