NFC operates at 13.56 MHz and is an extension of High Frequency (HF) RFID standards. NFC therefore shares many physical properties with RFID such as one way communication and the ability to communicate without a direct line of sight. There are however three key differences.
1. NFC is capable of two way communication and can therefore be used for more complex interactions such as card emulation and peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing.
2. NFC is limited to communication at close proximity, typically 5cm or less.
3. Only a single NFC tag can be scanned at one time.
These properties were developed primarily to enable secure mobile payments and it is for this reason NFC is limited to singular and close proximity interactions. An important by-product is that NFC is now available in the majority of mobile phones and this is perhaps the most important difference between NFC and RFID.
NFC-enabled phones offer both businesses and day-to-day users slick and intuitive communication between mobile phones and between a mobile phone and an NFC tag. Examples include file sharing via Android Beam, instant connection setups between electronic devices and the ability to link everyday objects such as posters to online content. For more great NFC ideas – click here.