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  1. What Is
June 29, 2016updated 09 Jan 2017 3:03pm

What is NFC?

Most Android and Apple users have NFC capabilities on their smartphones.

By Joao Lima

NFC, or near field communication, is a form of contactless communication between devices like smartphones or tablets and a terminal. It is being widely used in contactless payment projects.

Usually, data exchange between a mobile device and an NFC terminal occurs up to a distance of 10cm.

There are four different modes of transmission when it comes to NFC: passive, active, peer-to-peer, and reader/writer.

Click next for a brief historical overview.

NFC has its roots back in radio-frequency identification technology (RFID). RFID was patented in 1983, and first used in Star Wars toys in 1997.

In 2002, Sony and Philips created a specification and generated a technical outline for NFC technology. The technology was approved as an ISO/IEC standard in 2003.

Since then, NFC has been embedded in millions of devices around the world and it is being used by tech giants like Apple and Samsung for their e-wallet services.

The NFC market is now expected to reach $21.84bn by 2020, at a CAGR of 17.1% between 2015 and 2020, according to Markets & Markets.

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