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What is NFC?

NFC or Near Field Communication is a technology which uses electromagnetic induction to enable electronic devices to communicate and transfer small amount of data.  By placing devices physically together or close to each other (a distance of about 10 centimeters or less), NFC equipment detects similar technology nearby and transfers data wirelessly.NFC

NFC is extremely user-friendly because it works fast and automatically and does not require internet connection. NFC technology is suitable for secure communications like monetary transactions and private data exchanges. Unlike Bluetooth technology which requires some setup time to manually connect 2 devices, NFC connects instantaneously. Moreover, NFC typically transfers data faster than Bluetooth and usually consumes less power than Bluetooth.

Besides sending or transferring data, NFC can also induce electric currents of another passive device.  This means the passive device does not require its own power supply. As such, NFC is now frequently used in contactless credit card for payment. Recently, it is also used as a smartphone wallet for payment as well as transfer of photos, contacts and directions between 2 phones. Isn’t it cool to share information by bringing 2 mobile phones together? For smartphone wallet, it works like credit card. You just have to hold your mobile phone with smartphone wallet close to a contactless payment terminal to make the payment.

Bluetooth technology complements NFC technology in some circumstance especially in mobile devices like portable or wireless speakers. If the distance between your mobile phone and wireless speakers increases, NFC technology may not be effective anymore. Bluetooth technology can then be deployed to ensure devices remain connected wirelessly.

NFC vs Bluetooth Summary

  1. NFC has higher security than Bluetooth due to shorter range of communication distance
  2. When connecting or communicating, NFC can have a passive device (no electrical power required) and one active device (electrically powered). However, Bluetooth needs both devices to be electrically powered.
  3. When both connecting devices are electrically powered, NFC consumes less energy than Bluetooth.
  4. Set up time for NFC is about 50 times faster than Bluetooth.

Lately, there have been a number of NFC speakers available in the market. Find out more about shock proof and water proof speakers with Bluetooth and NFC capabilities here.