The purpose and procedure for using the NFC module

The capabilities of modern mobile devices have long surpassed all the expectations and dreams of the inhabitants of the 20th century. Now you will not surprise anyone with a phone with a huge screen and no buttons, while technically equipped with no worse than some modern computers, not to mention the gadgets that came out 5-10 years ago. Currently, it can everywhere meet users who pay in various stores with the help of their smartphones. Is it fiction? No longer. Now almost every smartphone is equipped with an NFC module, turning it from an ordinary mobile device into a universal gadget, the capabilities of which are significantly less limited than it might seem at first glance. But what is the purpose of this module. What he can do and how to check if he is in your device. This topic is intended to find these and other issues, which will be implemented in the framework of the topic under consideration.

The purpose and use of the functional NFC module.

History and purpose

So, “NFC” is an abbreviation of “Near field communication”, which translates as “near field communication” or “near contactless communication”. Based on the translation, it is already becoming clear that the main functionality of this module is wireless data transmission at a frequency of 13.56 MHz between devices that are no more than 10 centimeters apart. The essence of this technology is quite simple - it is the combination of two technologies into a single interface (smart card and reader). If we talk about history, the first sensible theories were put forward as far back as 1983 by electrical engineer Charles Valton, who patented the “portable radio frequency radiator identifier”.

But it was only at the beginning of the 21st century, in 2004, the three largest companies Nokia, Sony and Royal Philips Electronics merged into a non-profit association to promote near-contactless communication technology to the masses. And in 2006, the users from around the world presented the first commercial phone with the module under consideration on board - it was Nokia 6131. ​​Without going into complex technical terms and nuances, it is worth noting that this functionality works on the basis of two components - it is the initiator that forms radio frequency field, and the purpose for which this field affects. From the first moments it was considered just for mobile devices, since the compactness of the module, which is caused by low energy dependence due to the operation of electromagnetic induction, makes it possible to successfully place it under the cover of a smartphone, without significant losses in the useful volume of the case.

Bluetooth Comparison

NFC and Bluetooth are two technologies that are similar in the same direction, that is, in data transmission over a short distance with the introduction of mobile devices into the design. But if you compare these technologies, it becomes clear that their area of ​​application is significantly different and here's why:

Network typepoint to pointpoint-to-multipoint
Radius of action<0.2m10 m
Speed424 kbaud24 Mbaud
Connection time<0.1 s.6 s.
RFID compatibilityYesNot

So, apparently, “Bluetooth” creates a network of a point-multipoint type, that is, the created “point” sees all devices that are within the radius of its coverage, which, as can be seen from the example, is up to 10 meters, while the technology in question connects directly with the goal, bypassing the detection of other devices. The second significant difference is the mentioned coverage radius, which makes “NFC” a more advantageous option when working with a space where there are many electronic devices, rather than “Bluetooth”.

How to check its availability

From general questions about the essence of the technology under consideration, it is necessary to move on to more routine questions regarding the verification of the module in your smartphone and the area of ​​its possible application. Despite the fact that the module can be found absolutely on any device, regardless of its cost, in practice it is found not in all smartphones. Therefore, the first thing to do is to check whether your mobile gadget supports the technology discussed in this article, and you can do this as follows:

  1. Most manufacturers make it easy to search for their users by placing on the battery a corresponding sticker, which indicates the presence of NFC, and its area of ​​application, for example, the company Samsung. Other eminent companies adhere to this labeling.
  2. If there is no marking or the case of the smartphone can not be opened quickly, then you can check this fact using the device settings:
    • Open the "Settings";
    • In the “Wireless Networks” block, select “Additional Functions” or “More”;
    • Scroll through the list that opens and check if there is a section with “NFC” in it.

If you could not get any information either in the first or the second case, it means that you have become the owner of a smartphone that is simply not equipped with a contactless data transfer module.

How to use

Taking into account the above, from all the potential potential of contactless data transfer, three main areas of NFC application on mobile gadgets should be highlighted:

  1. "Emulation cards." Converts a smartphone into one of the currently existing contactless cards. The most common application now is to introduce Apple Pay and Samsung Pay to the masses. That was what was said at the beginning of the article. It is worth noting that emulation applies not only to bank cards, but to some modern types of bonus cards or other other marketing offers. For example, do not forget about electronic passes / keys, which have long and productively "put into service" in large organizations and enterprises. "
  2. "Reading tags." Again, without going into complex technical reasoning, such a scope is actively used for advertising purposes, for example, in the framework of interactive advertising. Currently, some manufacturers of various items, clothing or any other category of consumer demand are “marking” their products with “RFID tags”, on which they record a certain amount of information. For example, such tags may contain information about the manufacturer, the address of its website, where the properties of a particular product will be indicated, as well as any other useful information. In addition, simple commands can be recorded on these tags, when read, the phone will perform the functions set in the tags, for example, set an alarm, turn off / on Wi-Fi, etc.
  3. "P2P mode". Combines several devices for direct exchange of information. The essence of this application is the same as in "Bluetooth".


In conclusion, it is worth noting that the development of the technology considered in this article cannot but rejoice, since its potential is simply enormous. The only thing that remains to hope is the corresponding development of “NFC” in our market of electronic devices, and, unfortunately, it is currently sagging significantly.