Feeds

The beginner's guide to near field communications

Wave me the money

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Oyster is my world

The NFC architecture envisions multiple applications making use of the same hardware, so an NFC phone might have an application installed for London's Oyster mass-transport pre-payment system, allowing the user to board an underground train or bus by tapping the phone against a reader, but it might also have an application from British Airways for storing boarding passes and tickets, allowing a plane to be boarded with similar ease.

The same handset could then download a Visa PayWave application, enabling low-value transactions to be completed by tapping the phone against a shop's till.

But if the handset also has Mastercard PayPass installed there will user-interface issues to contend with as the till struggles to decide which payment system to debit.

Act local

Location advertising makes use of the reader in the phone to pick up information from cheap tags embedded in posters or signs. Basic tags cost around 10p (15c) a time, so can be embedded in movie posters or signposts to provide additional information.

Exhibits at the Pompidou Centre in Paris already have such tags, so the visitor can get additional information by tapping the sign. The centre supplies the handsets, as NFC hasn't yet taken the world by storm.

NFC Forum N-Mark logo

The N-Mark standard defines an embedded tag, which can communicate and provide encrypted authentication using power induced by the reader - such a tag can therefore be embedded in a credit card or key fob without needing its own power supply.

An N-Mark device, such as a mobile phone, incorporates a reader as well as a tag, to enabling communication with passive tags and other N-Mark devices. That communication takes place at 13.56MHz, but as the power is magnetically inducted the range is extremely limited - 200mm at best.

Retrofitting NFC is hard, but can be done using a wire to carry the signal from the Sim or SD card to an antenna bonded to the outside of the handset, or at least just inside the plastic back. Such an approach is being adopted by several network operators around the world, as a stop-gap while waiting for NFC handsets.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: SIM with tail

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.