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Our Top 5 NFC Applications

Contactless payment has gained popularity in recent years allowing users to quickly pay for items without the inconvenience of waiting to enter a pin. These cards use both Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC), which allows users to interact with other people and objects in the world around them. As the name suggests, this is accomplished by placing devices near to each other and using radio waves to communicate. This technology evolved from RFID, a process that involves a micro-transaction of data between a tag and a reader, allowing the technology greater flexibility as it can be utilised in many more ways; from syncing to a speaker or even buying a morning coffee.

5: Digital Toys

Introduced by Activation in 2011, the Skylanders series has become a hit amongst children as it offers cross platform storytelling, translating physical play into digital play; allowing children the freedom to create their own narratives along with the structured digital narrative provided by the company. This is accomplished by ‘docking’ a figure onto a themed base that both feature NFC technology. The figure has a tag embedded inside the base, which is the reader, allowing the figure to go from the dock to being displayed on screen.

4: Dangerous Things, Injectable Tag

This small implant allows a user to keep information sub dermally without the need for a device or sticker. This tag can then be used in a variety of situations from opening doors to sharing contact details. However, it does have its limitations as the device has to be compatible with the implant. This application of NFC has great potential as it could offer an alternate way to store personal data, its also the most daunting of applications. One potential use of the product could be creating digital medical files that would allow a health practitioner to easily identify and assess a patient.

3: Lockitron

Coupled with Bluetooth technology, the Lockitron enables a user to lock and unlock a door from anywhere in the world, by using a NFC tag to send a text message to the Lockitron system. This means that one can have peace of mind regardless of where they are in the world; allowing remote access to a home or office. In reality, this use of NFC is a basic switch that simply sends a signal in the form of an SMS message, something the companion app can do independently.

2: NFC Jewellery

Another great embodiment of this technology is the NFC ring, designed by ‘hackers’ who believed that traditional keys needed to become obsolete and that jewellery should have more intrinsic value. As with the Lockitron, the NFC ring turned to crowdfunding as a base to establish themselves. Very much an ‘Internet of Things’ product, the NFC ring aims to allow users to tailor experiences to their own needs and wants. The company also wishes to promote the various potential applications of the ring and turns to its users via Internet forums for this. Furthermore, they have recently trailed the ring as a payment system at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

1: Oomi Home Automation

Oomi is a home automation system that aims to make the task of creating a connected home as easy as possible. At CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2016 they won an award for the way they use NFC to create an extremely simple user experience by allowing users to ‘tap’ new pieces into their home network. For example, if a user wanted to add door sensors to the network, all they would need to do is physically tap their phone on the device to add it to the system; offering a very flexible and expandable system.

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