Technology has never sat idle, it runs. It runs and changes at a pace that human beings need to keep up with. The same can be said for NFC.
You've likely heard the term somewhere, yet what is NFC precisely? In this blog, we will go through how NFC works, and what it may be utilized for, what are its advantages and disadvantages and most importantly what is NFC? So, let's get started!
What is NFC & How it's being used in Asset Tracking?
NFC stands for Near-field Communication. It is invented in 2002. However, we can say that NFC Technology lays under the umbrella of RFID technology. NFC does not need an internal power source and it can transmit data over little distance.
NFC technology now comes with built-in to most of the smartphones built by Google, Apple, Samsung, etc. They use this technology to make payment with just a tap!
Amazing it may seem but how it works anyway? Well! It uses wireless data transmission from one phone to another. It uses one device to send information and another receive the signal.
As an active NFC smartphone can send and receive information or data via NFC. Readers can read the tags in NFC posters and it does peer to peer for transferring the file and so on.
In NFC Asset Tracking, the tag is scanned quickly with a smartphone. For tracking, NFC does not have to be a line of sight. Since the NFC tag can be very small in size so it provides an advantage in using it if the item size is small.
What is NFC Reader?
NFC Reader is one of the main components that make NFC technology works. NFC readers are the active components in NFC transactions. They can read and write cards and tags, interact with Near-field Communication smartphones and enable communication from device to device.
The role of NFC Reader is similar to the reader of RFID. According to your need, you can choose the efficient NFC Reader. There are several types of NFC Reader are available in the market today.
What is NFC Tag?
The smart thing about NFC Tag is that they don't require charging. They generate power when transmission process starts. NFC Tag consists of a very small chip and antenna that operate at 13.56 MHz just the same as RFID high frequency.
NFC Tag also stores vital information such as card information & product ID. It becomes active when transmitting information to a contactless reader. Most of the times, NFC tag embedded within a sticker.
How NFC works?
Since we know what NFC is! But how does it work?
Much the same as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and all way of different remote sign, Near-field communication deals with the rule of sending data over radio waves. Wireless data transition is the simple way of how Near Field Communication works.
This implies that gadgets must hold fast to a specific order to communicate with another gadget, reader, etc. It can be said that the innovation utilized in NFC is based on older Radio-frequency identification (RFID) proposition, which utilized electromagnetic induction to transmit the data.
Does my Mobile Device have NFC inbuilt?
We know that nowadays huge brands such as Apple, Samsung & Google have NFC. But you can also check your mobile has NFC or not!
The first mobile was the Nokia 6131 which was compatible with NFC and it was introduced in 2006.
What are the Pros and Cons of NFC?
While Near Field Communication is a fascinating technology, it is imperative to comprehend its pros and cons. Before integrating this gadget into a business or personal use.
So, let us conclude what are NFC advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages are as follow:
Contactless payment -
Nowadays almost every smartphone comes with NFC technology inbuilt. So, they can be used in making payment via wallet, debit card, credit card, etc. You can make direct payment and all you have to do is wave your card from a very short distance and that is it! It is done!
NFC technology can be used in various industries, from banking to shopping. The process is simple, easy to use, fast & effective.
It can be used in booking movie tickets and choosing restaurant seats as well. NFC Technology offers a better user experience, making it versatile.
More Secure -
Near-field Communication offers a level of security that a client doesn't have with old habitual payment techniques. Some have shown concerns about the fact that the data is transferred wirelessly, but each transaction is marked with a specific digital signature, making it challenging for hackers to intercept.
Great Checkout Experience -
NFC provides one of the best checkout experiences for e.g. When there is a sale going to a shopping mall. We see a huge queue of people waiting for checkout & wasting their time. NFC speed-up the checkout process and make it improved checkout experience.
Other Advantages -
- It consumes less battery compared to Bluetooth as it works on passive mode.
- Also, it uses less power because it has low data transferring speed 106 kbps to 424 kbps.
Disadvantages of NFC:
Near-field Communication is costly technology. It may not favour small level organization. Even any organization would have to think twice before implementing NFC Technology because they may need to buy new devices or hardware, software and technician team that will increase the expenses for sure.
Small Range -
NFC comes in ranges between 4-10 cm, which is a very small range. And from a company point of view, it is a very small range so it will be a time-consuming task. Not just this, it also has a low data transferring speed.
Lack of Security -
As we have mentioned before that it is secured than regular payment methods. However, it is vulnerable to risk. As the technology has evolved quickly so does the hackers. These hackers are looking for unauthorized techniques for getting vital data information related to the user's finance account.
- A lot of people are not aware or heard about NFC technology making it less known in the market.
- Another issue is the lack of knowledge about NFC technology because customers don't know how they can make payment through NFC.
- If a company decides not to integrate NFC technology in their business, then you as a customer will also be not able to use it.
Can NFC be utilized in Asset tracking & management?
When you use NFC for Asset Management and for Asset Tracking you get the real-time update. NFC is not only utilized for payments, but it can also be utilized for ticket scanning and much more, making it versatile.
You will also notice improved customer service. NFC increases efficiency and productivity.
It enables for a quicker and more efficient way of getting check-out procedure done.
However, Asset tracking software with NFC can be costly as we have mentioned above. For a small organization, this can be very costly middle or big size organization can bear the cost that is also questionable.
Security is a big concern and a small operating range of just 4 - 10 inches can be another issue for NFC tracking.
As far as we are concerned, we believe that Near-field Communication can be used for an employee because NFC needs very close proximity to operate itself, it can be used as confirmation of physical presence in a big organization.
As we know, there is no "one size fits all" technology. And every technology has its advantages & disadvantages. As we have said many times earlier it's important to understand what your business requirements are. Which technology can grow your organization? If Near-field Communication fits in your answer, then you should go for it.