- TECHNOLOGIES & SOLUTIONS
NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATION
Near Field Communication (NFC), also known as short-range wireless communication, is a short-range high-frequency wireless communication technology which allows for contact-free point-to-point data transfer between electronic devices so that such devices can exchange information within a close range1. This technology evolved from non-contact RFID and was jointly developed by Philips Semiconductors (now NXP Semiconductors), Nokia and Sony on the basis of RFID and interconnection technologies.
15 聯網,「什麼是 NFC ? NFC 概念簡介」, 於:http://www.5lian.cn/html/2012/ gainianjiexi_0213/30054.html [於2013年 9月6日]。
NFC has three operating modes, namely the reader/writer mode, card emulation mode and peer-to-peer mode. The reader/writer mode enables the device to be used as a non-contact card reader, such as, one installed on smart posters or electronic labels on information panel at an exhibition, which reads relevant information. The card emulation mode is analogous to an IC card that uses RFID technology, and can replace a large number of the existing IC cards, such as, credit cards, access cards, transport tickets and service tickets. The peer-to-peer mode links two NFC-enabled devices to rapidly exchange information over a short distance (peer-to-peer transmission), such as, downloading music, exchange images or synchronising contacts on the address books.
NFC is characterised by its low cost, convenience and intuitive usage, making it bear additional potential in certain areas. NFC is suitable for a wide range of scenarios: merchants can use NFC and combine it with e-coupons, loyalty cards and various payment options to expand and enhance customers' shopping experience; the NFC technology can also be used in marketing, leaving a far-reaching impact on modern marketing; NFC can also allow for data interchange between electronic devices which can be in a non-contact and rapid manner to exchange information and other content; NFC is even a technology suitable for access control systems and other safety equipment.
In order to promote the development and popularisation of NFC, the industry created a non-profit standards organisation named the NFC Forum to facilitate the implementation and standardisation of NFC technology, and to ensure synergy between devices and services. The NFC Forum has a few hundred members worldwide, including Sony, Philips, LG, Motorola, NXP Semiconductors and Samsung, among others. Chinese members include China Mobile, Huawei, ZTE and other companies.
With the maturing of the NFC technology, the public push for NFC adoption is also increasing. However, NFC encounters many obstacles on its path of development, among them is the apparent shortfall of the current technological craftsmanship with respect to the widespread adoption of the NFC technology. Many considerations need to be taken into account in designing and manufacturing labels, such as, the need to ensure that the label can be mass-produced at very low cost while maintaining the level of performance. In designing labels, three key performance parameters and those elements need to be considered: the speed of data retrieval, the size of the chip and unit prices. Failure to solve these problems on design and manufacturing will hinder the further promotion of NFC2.
2王忍成,「使用 NFC 手機進行密碼管理及 登入」,101 學年度資訊專題成果報告書, 國立臺東大學資訊工程學系, 2013年1月。