Near Field Communication has been around for a few years now, though the most popular mobile device, the iPhone, does not (yet?) carry the necessary transmitters to take advantage of it. The technology requires its own dedicated chip to send and receive data. Thus far, Google’s Android phones have been taking the lead in the US economy, but one of the more pulsating rumors about the iPhone 5 is whether it will contain said chip. The web consensus seems to be ‘probably not yet’, but as people become ever more aware of what NFC can do, then Apple will surely enter the market.
The biggest draw of NFC is likely also the quality that has made Americans shy about adopting it: the ease with which two (or more) devices with a chip can share data when in close proximity. NFC exchanges information between two ‘live’ chips − rather than having a ‘dead’ code (like a QR Code) launch an app or website on a mobile device. The chip can be on a card or poster or placed on a gas pump or soda machine, which means NFC spots can be ‘retrofitted’ pretty easily into current infrastructures.
Probably the best-known use of the NFC technology thus far is Google Wallet on its Android phones. But as the technology matures, companies and governments are finding other uses for it as well. NFC can turn a smart phone into an entry/ID card for a building’s security, for example. Some of NFC, offering maps and guidebook information at various spots around their tourist destinations. And Al Sacco of PC World lists a half-dozen uses the public and privates sectors are developing with NFC technology beyond payments. One of those uses is the opportunity to collaborate on projects by sharing the data files with the people at your meeting via smart phones − a boon for businesses and for nonprofits as they coordinate longer-term projects., a service provided by
Security is a notable concern because NFC connections − at least the feelers to start one − need to be pretty quick and thus rather open. The real security comes from proximity: If I’m paying for a fill-up, only someone standing quite close to my chip would have a chance to access my banking information for example. Developers are well aware of this concern, though, and are working on layers of hardware and software protections as well.
We see NFC technology as one of the striking steps forward in nonprofit donation and information exchange ‘after’ text messaging. As major nonprofits and the, people will accept and embrace the technology. NFC seems a logical step from there. Imagine your next fundraising event with a kiosk encouraging those with NFC-enabled devices to step into the space and donate directly from their phones and in return those phones will get real-time information on how their money will help the overall cause.