What NFC is

NFC stands for Near-Field Communication and it is a short-range wireless communication protocol. It is designed to allow 2 electronic devices to identify and talk to each other wirelessly over very short distances. 


NFC is the technology that enables applications such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, and is commonly used for many short-range wireless applications such as train ticketing and many others. It operates at 13.56 MHz and it is a form of RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification). 


NFC works when you have 1 or more readers and potentially a tag. In general, NFC tags do not contain a battery and are composed of just a microchip, an antenna, and bonding between the two. 


How NFC Works

The NFC reader creates an electromagnetic field that is absorbed by the tag antenna and which is used to power the tag’s microchip. Once the tag’s microchip is woken up, the tag and the reader can communicate. 


NFC is designed to work over a range of 1 - 5 cm in general so the wireless communication is designed to only be short-range, specific, and between one set of NFC devices at a time. 


NFC tags are very small and can be placed inside of or on-top of packaging. They can also go inside a coated protective material and placed on agricultural products like a plant. NFC devices should not be put on metal surfaces unless a special anti-metal NFC tag is utilized. 


NFC tags can be integrated with sensors to collect environmental data and have a number of special security features, some of which are utilized by Parsl to increase our overall security infrastructure.





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