Near Field Communication: Getting small data from A to B

Near Field Communication: Getting small data from A to B

By Softtalkblog

August 7th 2013 at 12:00PM

Intel Developer Blog: Softtalkblog looks at how the technology can be applied to games

It has recently been reported that 76 per cent of mobile developers are interested in using Near Field Communication (NFC) in their next app ventures. But what does this mean, and how can developers use it to their advantage?

NFC is a wireless connectivity technology that enables two-way interactions between devices. It's a short-range, low-power wireless link tech that can transfer small amounts of data between two devices held near each other.

Sounds like Bluetooth? Well for one thing, no pairing code is needed, and because it requires so little power, it also needs no battery in the device being read. As NFC doesn’t rely heavily on power, it can make apps simple to use and very fast.

Key applications for NFC support are security and access. You can find it in keycards, identity cards, entry access keys, boarding passes and day-to-day travel cards.

By tapping your phone on a contactless payment terminal in a shop, train station or coffee shop, it is able to identify your account and either confirms your identity or takes payment through an app. But NFC support doesn’t stop at smartphones; it has been suggested that entering a password to access WiFi will be replaced by a tap on the router from a mobile device.

NFC is an increasing consideration for developers because of its popularity among and usefulness for consumers. Smartphones equipped with NFC allow users to streamline their bags and pockets by digitising ticket stubs and parking passes.

But it’s not just function-based; it can also be used for gaming, like with the Nintendo Wii U controller. This promotion of both work and play is what makes NFC support relevant for many of the apps we are developing now.

Android developers can take advantage of several NFC applications designed for everything from getting into a building block without the user having to fumble for keys, to swapping business cards with another NFC compatible device.

To read more about NFC-based technology and usage modes currently populating the Android app market, go to the Intel Developer Zone. You can read about two different cases of developing NFC-based reader/writer apps, as well as how to add NFC to Windows Store apps.

• This blog post is written by Softtalkblog, and is sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone, which helps you to develop, market and sell software and apps for prominent platforms and emerging technologies powered by Intel Architecture.