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NFC Connectivity Technologies in IoT

  • Near field communication, or NFC for short, is an offshoot of radio-frquency identification (RFID).
  • NFC is designed for use by devices within close proximity to each other.
  • All NFC types are similar but communicate in slightly different ways.
  • FeliCa is commonly found in Japan.
 NFC Types
  • Passive devices contain information which is readable by other devices, however it cannot read information itself.
  • NFC tags found in supermarket products are examples of passive NFC.
  • Active devices are able to collect as well as transmit information.
  • Smartphones are a good example of active devices.

Working Principle
  • Works on the principle of magnetic induction.
  • A reader emits a small electric current which creates a magnetic field that in turn bridges the physical space between the devices.
  • The generated field is received by a similar coil in the client device where it is turned back into electrical impulses to communicate data such as identification number status information or any other information.
  • 'Passive' NFC tags use the energy from the reader to encode their response while 'active' or 'peer-to-peer' tags have their own power source.

NFC Specifications
  • NFC's data-transmission frequency is 13.56 MHz.
  • NFC can transmit data at a rate of either 106, 212 or 424 Kbps (Kilobits per second).
  • Tags typically store between 96 and 512 bytes of data.
  • Communication range is less than 20 cms.

Modes of Operation

Lets two smartphones swap data

One active device picks up info from a passive one.

NFC device can be used like a contactless credit card.

NFC Applications
  • Smartphone based payments.
  • Parcel tracking.
  • Information tags in posters and advertisements.
  • Computer game synchronized toys.
  • Low-power home automation systems.

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