The iPhone 6 will come with support for Near Field Communications, commonly known as NFC, based on multiple reports including component leaks.
NFC lets you connect and talk to another device just by touching them together or bringing them very close to each other. This communication can be used for various purposes, ranging from payments to file transfer to automatic device configuration and more. In this post we list out some of the most useful applications of NFC.
Mobile payments is one of the primary reasons Apple will be adding NFC to the iPhone 6. The company has reportedly partnered with Visa, Mastercard and American Express for its mobile payments solution that’ll let you checkout at retail stores just with your phone.
While the specifics of Apple’s payments solution isn’t known yet, Google’s implementation asked you to sign up for Google Wallet with your credit card info, and then touch your Android phone to an NFC reader at your retail store to complete the payment. Apple’s system will likely be similar, that’ll store your credit card info in the A8 chip’s secure enclave, and use it to complete the payment at the checkout counter via NFC.
NFC Tags are unpowered chips, commonly available as stickers, that have a small memory that can be read and written into. This memory can be programmed via your smartphone’s NFC chip to write any data, and a very common application of this is smartphone automation. You can store daily actions you perform like setting an alarm, or switching to vibrate in the NFC tag, so that when you tap your device no the tag, the action gets triggered automatically.
You could use your NFC-based smartphone to open your car or your office door without any keys. You’ll just be required to wave your phone at the authentication system, that’ll grant or deny you access based on who you are.
Quickly Pairing devices
Because NFC just needs a tap to initiate a connection between two devices, it can be used to setup other connections like Bluetooth. Android phones’ Bluetooth file sharing feature called Beam lets you trigger file transfers by touching two devices. Similarly, you can permit other devices to access your Wi-Fi hotspots with NFC, without having to deal with passwords.
NFC Tags can also be used as business cards, given that they can store information and associated actions. So at your next conference, you can handover people NFC tags, which when they touch to their phone can initiate a download of your contact info or portfolio and so on.
While some of the applications of NFC can be replicated with iBeacons, others rely on NFC specifics and hence require a dedicated NFC chip. We’ll likely see more uses of NFC at Apple’s September event, but the one Apple will highlight the most is of course mobile payments.
Are you looking forward to the iPhone 6’s NFC support? Let us know in the comments below.
Image credit: Mashable