Use of Near Field Communication Growing

Posted May 11, 2009

phpAt1Dtp[1]Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range, high-frequency (13.56 MHz) wireless technology that allows for the exchange of data between two NFC-enabled devices, such as mobile phones, over a distance of a few centimeters. Among the applications enabled by NFC are contactless transactions for payment and transit ticketing, simple data transfers and access to online content. It’s one of the fastest-growing wireless technologies, and now a number of vendors are launching products that extend its capabilities.

In addition to mobile phones, a variety of devices and machines can be NFC-enabled, according to the NFC Forum, a Wakefield, Mass., organization formed in 2004 to advance the use of NFC technology, ensure interoperability among devices and services, and educate the market regarding NFC. These include cash registers or other point-of-sale (POS) equipment, vending machines, turnstiles, parking meters, ATMs and PCs. The technology can also be used with posters, street signs and other public points of interest, certificates, food packaging and other items.

The use of NFC technology is growing, says Peter Preuss, the NFC Forum’s marketing chair and a senior manager at Nokia. NFC devices are being used in more than 65 projects worldwide, he explains, enabling users to make payments and access bus gates. A 2008 study conducted by ABI Research found that more than 419 million NFC chipsets will be shipped by 2012, and that NFC chipset shipments and revenue will continue growing steadily over the next five years, as the market adapts to the new technology.

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