What is NFC? How NFC Works and What are its uses ?

what is nfc

Do you know what is NFC(Near Field Communication)? How does it work and what are its uses? if you don’t know what it is then read this article till the end. I’ll explain all the thing related to NFC(Near field communication).

What is NFC Technology?

Near Field Communication is a technology in which two devices are connected face-to-face wirelessly. It allows you to transfer the small amount of data between two NFC enabled devices which we’ll get to in a second and, to be honest, you actually don’t have to touch devices together. It’s near field which means you can get usually within about a centimeter of the devices and they will successfully transfer data.

NFC is the technology that makes your smartphones, tablets wearable and other devices even smarter. With just one tap you can expedite your commute and travel from checking your schedule to paying your fare. Track all your fitness and health stats. Shop save and get special offers and control everything in your home or on the road.

what is nfc

Wherever you’re headed near or far. One simple tap connects you to a world of convenience and enriched experiences from museum tours to the great outdoors to big events. You can get your tickets, buy your food and even connect with fellow fans.

How NFC Work

NFC enabled devices to communicate with each other using the radio waves. And these radio waves are generated using the antenna. So, if take the case of a smartphone, then the antenna is fitted on the battery. It is fitted on the back side of the back cover. While in case of NFC tag, if you tear down the tag then, you will find the antenna pattern. So, using those antennas, these devices are able to communicate with each other.

Now, these NFC supports the three modes of communication.

  1. Card Emulation Mode.
  2. Peer-to-Peer communication mode
  3. Reader or write mode.
1. Peer-to-Peer Communication Mode

The example of this communication mode is when we are sharing the information using the two smartphones. In this mode, both devices are active devices. And they can communicate with each other by generating the radio waves alternatively. It means that one device transmits the data at that time the second device only listens to it. And it doesn’t generate it’s own radio waves. Similarly, when the second device transmits the data, at that time the first device only listen to it. And it doesn’t generate its own radio waves. So, in this mode, both devices generate the radio wave alternatively at the carrier frequency of 13.56 MHz. And using this they can share information and files with each other.

2. Reader or Write Mode

The example of this mode is when we are accessing the data or information using the smartphone from the NFC tag. So, this mode of operation is very similar to the RFID. So, in this mode, the active device like smartphone or tablet reads or writes the data on NFC tag using the principal of Electromagnetic Induction. Now, to read the information from the NFC tag, the active device generates the radio wave at the carrier frequency of 13.56 MHz. These waves used to get coupled to the antenna of the passive tag and from this electromagnetic waves, NFC tag receives the power. So, this time-varying electromagnetic field generates the EMF or voltage in this passive tag. So, this generated voltage is rectified using the rectifier and it is used to power up the chip inside this NFC tag.

what is nfcNow, this small chip generally comprises of the clock, EEPROM, rectifier circuit and the small controller. So, once the chip is powered up then the tag responds back to the active device by the technique which is known as the load modulation. In this technique, the tag uses the internal clock of the chip and it generates the auxiliary carrier frequency of 848 KHz. Now depending upon the stored data inside this chip, the load which is connected in parallel to the antenna is turned ON and OFF. And in this way, the data is sent back to the active device. So, in this way, by the principle of electromagnetic induction, the passive tag receives the power and using the load modulation the data is sent back to the active device.

3. Card Emulation Mode

The example of this mode is when the smartphone is used for the mobile payments. So, in this mode, both devices used to be an active device. Generally, the one device used to be a smartphone and the second obviously used to be payment terminal. But in this mode, the smartphones acts like a passive smart card. They do not generate their own radio waves but they only respond back to the requested data by the payment terminal. So, in a way, the smartphone acts as a passive device. So, the operating principle of this mode is very similar to the reader or writer mode.


Also Read: Near Field Communication Technology Standard

Top 5 Use of NFC(Near Field Communication)

1. Data Transfer

what is nfc

We can transfer data between two NFC enabled phones, well NFC means near field communication which is we can say 4cm, 3cm or just attach the phone together for the transfer files. Once you do that your phone will beep and you might click the files in the phone through which you are going to transfer the file to the other phone. Well, this is one of the uses of NFC.

2. Pairing Devices

what is nfc

NFC is used for pairing devices between two NFC enabled devices. It is the fastest pairing to be known. Like in Bluetooth if pair two devices, we need to turn on the Bluetooth at first and then search the device then click the device, put the pairing pins, then later on it will start pairing…which might be a drag.

But with NFC just held the devices together at once and its done pairing, no searches, no extra pairing time or you can say you want to pair your phone to your Bluetooth speaker, which has NFC enabled. All you need to do is just held the device top of it and in seconds it will share the pairing information and done pairing.

Also whenever you want to play music, it will pair up automatically. And it will work same with other gadgets which have NFC enabled, it might be Bluetooth speakers, it might be Bluetooth headphones, anything which has NFC.

3. Mobile Wallet

what is nfc

NFC can make you look like the boss or a stupid sometimes. Well, you have heard about android pay, Samsung pay or apple pay. But do you know that these things work on NFC? I guess you all like shopping. Many of the shopping malls have cash terminals which have NFC enabled.

So, if you want to look like a Boss then you need to setup your card to your mobile wallet. All you need to do is install your mobile wallet app, whichever you use, sign up and then scan your card with your phones and then your phone will take the card information and your good to go.

So, next time when you visit the shopping mall, try to pay with your mobile wallet. Just held the phone top of the cash terminal, put the amount you want to pay, complete the transaction and look like a boss. Hopefully, the terminal should have NFC enabled.

4. NFC Tags

what is nfc

These are simple looking tags but with NFC but with NFC chips inside it, So, how do we use it? NFC tags stores a very tiny amount of data. It might be in bytes or less than in Kilobytes. Well, NFC tags can be programmed in some apps also. You can program NFC tag for setting an alarm, saving your wifi password or saving your contact details or even you can program your phone’s profile.

So, whenever your friends ask for your wifi password, just ask them to hold the phones to the tag and it will connect the wifi automatically. And if anybody asks for your contact details, you can just ask him to do the same thing. Well, each tag can perform only one task. So if you override a task upon another task in the tag it will delete the older task and take the new task.

5. NFC Business Cards

what is nfc

The NFC card enables your client to save your contact information to his NFC smartphone with simply one touch. All of your contact details including your name, title, telephone number and address would be saved. The NFC business card helps you build your network among people.

Besides, NFC allows you to link to any online contents such as a web page or a video. Now you can tailor-make what you wish people read or watch with your NFC business card. The NFC card is a chance for you to offer something truly unique and make an impact.

Apart from business cards, the NFC application can even go further. There can be NFC movie poster which allows you to buy movie tickets and watch movie trailers with simply one touch. These cards look normal but it has NFC chips inside it like the NFC tags.


So, friends, you can do a lot of work in a very short time with the help of Near Field Communication. You can also use them as home automation. Near Field Communication is a great technique with the help of which we can do many hard works in seconds. New uses for NFC technology are being developed every day. With NFC life is easier and more connected. Make sure your next smart device is NFC enabled.

So, Now, I am sure you’re familiar with what is NFC and how it works? If you find this post useful and full of information then share with your friends or any who wants to know what is NFC technology, what are its uses and how its work.


About Manoj Prasad

Manoj Prasad is the founder of Trendinwire. Manoj is interested in science and tech subject. He is also interested in learning new things. He wants to share whatever he learned with the world.

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2 thoughts on “What is NFC? How NFC Works and What are its uses ?

  1. Hi guys! Just wanted to drop you a line to say that I really enjoyed reading your guest article on Peaches and Screams UK site! Great perspective. Have an awesome day!

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