Connect your world with NFC

NFC has spread its wings and is heading to a living room near you

11 Mar 2013


Near field communication (NFC) may sound like something carried out by the Army on windswept moors in the dead of night, but  the technology is actually set to make your life in civvy street even cushier.

2) Sony Showed Off Its Range Of One -touch Technology Using NFC

Behind all the fancy terms the basic principle of NFC is, well, pretty basic. It allows information to be transferred between gadgets no further than an inch apart - all without a wire in sight.

Totally taptastic

It typically works by tapping two NFC-enabled devices together. In a single touch credit card details and train tickets can be transferred between the two; it's like magic without the wand or white rabbit.

The close range connectivity technology is hidden on a tiny chip inside devices such as smartphones, but its implications and ambitions are huge - it wants to revolutionise every aspect of your life.

Until recently the holler about NFC was all about the dollar: technology which allows you to pay for goods with a wave of your smartphone.

One-touch homes

However, NFC has spread its wings and is heading to a living room near you (if it hasn't already arrived, that is).

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year NFC got serious, popping up in all manner of devices and gadgets and racking up some serious headlines in the city of sin.

But how can NFC revolutionise your home?

Well, a host of tech giants are using it to create what nerdy hipsters have called a 'digital high-five' between our smartphones, tablets, TVs and speakers - helping us share content with a simple touch.

Liberate your living room

Sony bet big on NFC in Vegas and the technology hit the jackpot, with hacks impressed by the connected devices on show.

The manufacturer dubbed the tech 'One Touch' and that's all it takes to link the gadgets - a process dubbed 'pairing' by geeks from Las Vegas to Llandudno.

Sony said the technology establishes a link between our gadgets with a simple tap, helping make media transfer and streaming smooth and simple.

In true Vegas fashion, Sony unveiled NFC-enabled smartphones, speakers and TVs which got on with one another better than the Rat Pack having a post-show drink.

If , for example, you have tracks by the sharp-dressed crooners on your Xperia Z phone, show the other half you're as smooth as Sinatra by playing it on the wireless speakers with a simple tap.

Once the two devices are connected via NFC, the tunes play using the speaker's Bluetooth; no need to go through the unsmooth pairing process of the latter technology, which is more Frank Gallagher than Frank Sinatra.

Pairing via Bluetooth involves entering passwords and discovering the device, while with NFC - as you're probably sick of hearing - devices are connected in a simple tap.  

With Sony's one-touch mirroring with NFC you can also throw photos from your phone onto your telly by tapping your Xperia smartphone against your BRAVIA remote control.

Other gadgets harbouring NFC at Vegas included a speaker and a range of cameras from Samsung.

The upshot? Your living room becomes better connected than the mobsters in Sky Atlantic series Vegas.

Connected kitchens

Of course, a connected home is much better than a connected living room and CES didn't disappoint, with LG showcasing kitchen appliances incorporating NFC.

Washing machines, vacuums and refrigerators put their category differences aside to enter 'the circle' of the smart home.

Use NFC to pair these appliances with your smartphone. Once done you can control them while out and about - think checking the contents of your fridge while in the supermarket, or turning on the washing machine while at work.

The future is touch

NFC was also a big look at the recent Mobile World Congress, where it was used to gain access to the press room as well as on Samsung Tec Tiles at certain hotels. The tiles delivered restaurant menus and show times to NFC-enabled phones with one touch.

Near field communication may not be a military operation but it's hell-bent on revolutionising our world - are you ready to step inside the circle?