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All you need to know about NFC and NFC Tags

Every once in a while a technology comes up which changes the way we use devices or adds multiple new features in a device.

Bluetooth is a technology that is used in mobile devices to transfer files or even for streaming music over radio waves. The Bluetooth technology keeps getting better but have you heard about NFC or Near Field Communication?

NFC is a wireless technology that is used to transfer data such as text, number, contacts, web addresses etc. between two devices which have NFC chip in them.

Now that we know NFC let us take a look at what NFC tags are.

What are NFC tags?

NFC tags are basically small NFC microchips with aerials that can store a small amount of information when transferred from NFC devices.

In this post, we will see what these tags are used for and we will also check how they work by taking a look at some real life examples.

How do NFC Tags work?

There’s a really interesting thing to know about the NFC tags which is that they do not need any source of power to work with. But since they work without any power, they are not able to do any type of processing at all and hence they are just used to store small data from smartphones or tablets.

But when you need to transfer and write the data on these NFC tags, the concept of Electromagnetic Induction comes in handy for powering these tags while writing data onto them.2

This is the same concept that is also used in wireless charging of mobile phones or other devices. This is one more reason why you need to tap on these devices with your smartphones to transfer or read data from them.

What type of info and data can we store on a NFC tag?

Now that we know how these NFC tags work, we should take a look at what type of information or data they can store inside the chip they have in them.

Let us make it clear at first that different type of NFC tags can store different type of data and that depends on the memory capacity of the tag.

You can store data like web addresses, contacts, text, numbers, settings and more.

Let us take a real life example here, for example you want to enable a certain number of settings when you come to your home.

So you will have to set up a NFC tag at home somewhere where you can reach to it easily and then you can set it to turn on Wifi in your phone or change the sound profile of your phone to General or whatever you wish. All this just by tapping your phone on the tag.

Sounds convenient, right?

What are the uses of NFC tags?

Apart from what we told above, there are a lot more things that NFC tags can do. Let us take the Android Beam for example, you can easily share the URL that you are browsing on your device and store it on your tag just by tapping it on the tag so next time you want to open the URL, you just have to tap the NFC tag and it will open the link on the device.

Another very interesting use of NFC tags are making payments through mobile. NFC technology and tags have made it so easier to make a payment at a store or someplace else that allow mobile payments through NFC.

You might have surely heard about Apple Pay. This specific service from Apple collects credit or debit card data from users and feeds them into Apple Pay API so when you want to pay via your card at the store next time, just tap on the Apple Pay kiosk and your payment will be made. No cash involved at all.

Verdict

So, this was a small post that explained a few basic things about NFC and NFC tags. NFC is still a new technology and it is getting better every day with new uses and services coming out that use NFC in their own way.