What can NFC be used for?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by kat.hayes, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I believe the Samsung phones transfer photos and videos via NFC. I'm curious what other uses are available for NFC?

    1. Is NFC a universal standard? If iPhones have NFC in a future version will they be able to share files with Androids via NFC?

    2. Besides sharing files between Samsung devices, are there any other current uses of NFC?

    Thanks.
     
  2. TheHateMachine macrumors 6502a

    TheHateMachine

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    #3
    Making payments and NFC tags.

    Basically NFC tags can be put anywhere and in anything. When you place your phone near one it can do anything from bringing up a webpage, downloading a video to turning on various phones features and apps.

    I have one in my car and when I put it in my car holder Bluetooth activates, Pandora launches and the volume is set to max. I have one on my night stand on my dock.

    Other uses could be changing your notification when you put it on your nightstand to something that would wake you up and putting your phone in Alarm mode. Or on your desk you could have it silence Email notifications since you would be at your PC. Essentially you can make your phone change anything and/or launch anything with a NFC tag.
     
  3. daveathall macrumors 68000

    daveathall

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    #4
  4. cynics macrumors G3

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    1. Apple will never allow a way to transfer between Apple and Android regardless if there was a standard or not. Hacks may become available one day but that's it.
     
  5. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    It should, if it supports the "NFC peer-to-peer" communications mode. This is intended for device to device messaging.

    Over that comm link, the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) is used to send simple messages for things like setting up Bluetooth or WiFi connections, transferring contacts, data, photos, etc.

    Each message type can be a URI, a MIME type, or a custom designator. E.g. if a web URL is sent, then it's up to the receiving device to ignore it, open a browser, store it as a bookmark, or whatever.

    Well, I've never shared a playlist like in that commercial, but many times I've sat next to my son-in-law and we've shared web links, youtube videos, pictures, and apps... it doesn't copy the app, but sends you to the app's page on the PlayStore.

    One of the more useful things he and I do with it, is touch to share the Google Navigation to a new restaurant or other place we're all going to in separate cars. That's kind of neat.

    There's also those little NFC tags that you can set up to have your Samsung phone do various actions.
     
  6. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #7
    I never thought of that. That is a cool application.

    With my iPhone I have Reminders app (which is location aware) set to remind me to turn off ringer when I get to work and turn it back on when I leave work.

    It sounds like with NFC, the phone would simple do the switch itself instead of having a reminder for me to do it. Sounds great! Although I wonder how that would work since most phones have a physical switch for ring mute.
     
  7. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    #8
    it probably just turns the volume all the way down
     
  8. siiip5 macrumors 6502

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    Most phones actually don't have a physical switch for mute. It isn't needed on Android. Simply swipe down and tap or utilize a widget toggle on your homepage. Those physical mute buttons constantly fail on iPhones (just like the home button).

    NFC is nice if you want to change phone settings, but it really comes in handy if you have guests come over to stay at your house. Place an NFC tag in their room, preset to a guest account for your internet and you don't have to worry about giving someone a login or password. They just tap their phone to the tag and done.Easy.

    Let's say you are going to another country on holiday. You can copy your passport information and encrypt it onto your phone or a tag. If you lose your passport or have it stolen, all your info is there and can be used to produce a temp passport until you get home by the local consulate.

    Let's say you are going to let another person use your Android device, but you don't want them to have access to your info and say they want to visit a site and type in another language. Tap a tag and all the settings change, including a new keyboard in the language that is desired.

    Themeparks can use tags for maps and directions to attractions. For specific ads. For trolly or unirail times and locations. NFC can replace paper tickets, notify you of line times and so forth.

    There are millions of uses. Going to Google I/O in March. I'm sure there will be plenty of NFC tags on booths and at the front door for you to easily download product information and give grouped internet access to different access points, preventing all internet from getting bogged down. Access to this local wifi can expire at a certain time as well. The next day, you get new wifi protocols. Tags can also be used for directions back to an individual point of interest.

    Apple was stupid not to incorporate this tech. NFC is not just for paying for things and passbook is a pale joke compared to NFC capabilities.
     
  9. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #10
    Well, that shows you what I know!
     
  10. lianlua macrumors 6502

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    #11
    It isn't needed on any platform.
    Passbook isn't an alternative to NFC and isn't meant to be. NFC is perfectly amenable to being implemented through Passbook if NFC actually ends up being used for anything.

    Right now it's a toy for geeks and a fad. It's not even as widely used as QR codes. When people start to make mainstream use of them, that may well start to change. Right now, no one is missing the functionality. It doesn't offer anything unique.
    There's no "physical switch" at all on most phones for any purpose.

    All the volume rockers, power buttons, home buttons, mute switches, back buttons, etc. on phones do is register a software command. The phone doesn't remotely care what that command is. The mute switch on an iPhone isn't tied to any physical function.
     
  11. siiip5 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Really? Might want to do a little research on this "fad". It is used all over the world and in things you have no idea about. Passports, metro passes, credit cards, security locks, banking systems, railway passes, retail checkout via pay pass, and so on.

    You know what else was called a 'fad' and a likely failure back in 2007? The iPhone. Consider that for a moment.
     
  12. cynics macrumors G3

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    I somewhat agree. But at the same time hate its usage. I travel a lot and anyone that travels daily knows, the guy scanning an electronic pass is the guy holding up the line. I used it years ago and have since switch to paper boarding passes. It's just embarrassing trying to scan your phone 10 times while gate #6 thru 8 are waiting.

    Passbook is meerly opening the pass.
     
  13. lianlua macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Not really. Nothing you're describing is unique to NFC (and much of it you're conflating with RFID), nor does it say anything about the use of NFC-enabled consumer mobile devices, which is still extraordinarily low.

    NFC hasn't yet become a part of mainstream usage for any significant group. Right now, the only use of NFC tags is for storing data and passing it along--something that can be accomplished many, many other ways with the same effect. You're talking about doing things with NFC because it's there, not because you need NFC to do those things.

    It's a solution looking for a problem. That may or may not change in the future. But there's just as good of a chance of NFC turning into a mainstream technology as it being replaced by something else that does the same thing. Right now it's Betamax or laser discs and we'll see where it goes.
    Irrelevant.
     
  14. SomeDudeAsking macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Guess you've never heard of a little thing called Japan.
     
  15. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #16
    I believe you're talking about a barcode on the screen, not NFC.

    My stepson who loves iPhones almost missed his flight home from overseas one time because the barcode scanners went down at his gate, and all he had was his onscreen iPhone pass.

    He had to wait in a line with all the other iPhone users for an hour to get a paper ticket instead. He no longer relies just on the screen any more :)

    I suppose the NFC scanner could go bad, as well, so lesson is: keep a paper backup!

    Not to mention that woman and her family on what was it, Ryan Express? Who paid out hundreds of dollars because that airline only takes paper? She thought having the passes on her email was good enough.
     
  16. lianlua, Dec 12, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012

    lianlua macrumors 6502

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    #17
    My experience is actually the opposite. The people with the pass scan and move along just fine, while people fumble around with unfolding their print-at-home boarding passes.

    It's not a question of the medium, but the user. The guy who's digging through his email for the boarding pass or fumbling with the screen's brightness is the same guy who'd be digging through his carry-on looking for the crumpled paper ticket he got at checkin. If you're prepared, whether it's a ticket, a printout, or a phone screen, it makes no difference to the scanner.
    I've never had a problem scanning a pass on any platform and have not noticed a higher rate of problems. Boarding is actually faster on my engineer-heavy flights where almost no one has paper.

    ----------

    Nothing in Japan exists because of NFC.

    Being able to sit down and automatically switch the menus in the restaurant to English doesn't depend on NFC. Don't confuse use with dependency. If something else comes along next year that's more secure and more flexible, all of those NFC tags will vanish and be replaced with whatever that is and all those NFC devices will be forgotten as a dead end.
     
  17. SomeDudeAsking macrumors 65816

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    #18
    OMG, you are totally ignorant of the history of NFC in Japan. It is prolific there. Go read about it.
     
  18. lianlua macrumors 6502

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    #19
    No, you're just missing the point.

    What's prolific is the use of short-range data exchange tokens, mostly RFID-based. That's all fine and dandy and not going anywhere. But that's got nothing to do with NFC implementation itself. NFC implements an RFID reader that makes all these things possible, but that's not the only way to read RFID information.

    The issue is that NFC is problematic and hasn't added much to the RFID landscape. There are security issues, standardization and compatibility issues, and market volume issues. Japan itself is struggling with adapting their Felica mobile payment system to one with global compatibility, for example. NFC kinda screwed them over there.

    It's also still a question of volume, even in Japan. There were only about 35 million NFC-enabled phones sold in 2011. Even if half of the worldwide sales were in Japan, that's still less than 15% of their population.
     
  19. hyteckit Guest

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    #20
    Wouldn't it be more practical and cheaper just to set up profiles?

    The only situation I think I might use the NFC to switch profiles is in the car because it seems cool.
     
  20. swy05 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Hilarious. You have no clue what you are talking about.

    NFC is heavily used in Asia.

    In Korea, its used everywhere. From restaurants to taxis, buses, trains, supermarkets.

    Even the most remote villages in Korea utilize NFC when making transactions.
     
  21. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #22
    I actually had a similar thing happen to me, except that I have always printed the paper pass as a backup, so there was no issue. I have since gone the other way; I print the paper pass but keep my phone as a backup in case I lose my paper pass. I figure if I am printing the dang paper ANYWAY, I may as well just use it. As thin as the iPhone can get, it will never fit in my pocket better than a folded piece of paper! ;)
     
  22. hyteckit Guest

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    #23
    I like the idea of NFC.

    However, the practical use of it currently in the US is pretty limited.
     
  23. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #24
    I agree. I keep saying that it is going to take Apple adopting the tech for it to become mainstream here. If Apple gets NFC payments going we are going to see many, MANY companies adopt this as a payment method. Look at what they have already done with giftcards via mobile!
     
  24. Eddie Bombay macrumors 6502

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    #25
    NFC is really nice. I use it in my car, at the office, at home.
     

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