Near Field Communication: The Technology Behind the Bumping Phenomenon



“No need to wander around the room bumping your phone with others,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president for software engineering, taking a dig at Android using mobile phones. Why? Because Google has equipped its Android with a technology that lets users share content across mobiles simply by bumping! This technology is called Near Field Communication and this article will tell you why it’s a game changer much to Monsieur Federighi chagrin!

What is NFC?

Near Field Communication or its famous abbreviation NFC is the transmission of data between devices that are physically close to each other. It goes without saying that they must be NFC enabled. NFC is an off shoot of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) protocol that uses electromagnetic fields (wireless) to set up data transfer between devices.

The benefit of this is that one can have his/her NFC enabled device close to another NFC enabled entity to communicate. Companies like Samsung have coined a cool term “bumping” though users don’t necessarily need to bump their devices!

Sneak Peek into History

In order to establish a standard wireless communication path between mobile devices, Sony, Nokia and Philips joined hands to form the NFC protocol in the year 2004.They also established strict guidelines for hardware makers wishing to include NFC in their handsets. These include compatibility among devices irrespective of the NFC subscribing brand, security of the protocol, compatibility with other wireless technologies and intra-NFC transmissions.

Salient Features

The following points mark out NFC from other wireless communication standards:

  • Based on RFID operating at 13.56 MHz
  • Effective in range of 10 cm
  • Allows data speeds of upto 424kb/second
  • Sports an intuitive user interface
  • Enables other proprietary wireless network platforms to interoperate

These features are largely responsible for the popular use of NFC in various facets of mobility.


The features of NFC map into benefits that are not paralleled by other wireless data transfer technologies. Some of the benefits are listed for your comprehension:

  • Versatile: NFC is compatible for use in the broadest range of industries, environments, and genre.
  • Intuitive: Most NFC interactions can be achieved by a simple touch.
  • Technology-enabling: With NFC wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi facilitates fast and simple setup of.
  • Interoperable: NFC is compatible with existing contactless card technologies.
  • Security-ready: NFC is equipped with capabilities to support secure applications. The short range of communication negates any purge or hacking.
  • Standards based: the DNA of NFC has incorporated ISO, ECMA, and ETSI standards to illustrate its compliance.

These benefits facilitate easy usage and wholesome user experience.


Well, the excitement this technology exhumes isn’t exactly complete until you read the next article. You may want to know how the NFC magic works, especially in the daily lives of you and me. Watch out for the next installment!

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