Your guide to NFC: Guest blog by Gavin McCarron, Sony UK

We asked Sony UK´s Network Communications Product Specialist, Gavin McCarron, about Near Field Communication technology (NFC). Read on for the lowdown.

21 May 2013


Written by Gavin McCarron, Network Communications Product Specialist from Sony UK

Near Field Communication technology (NFC) has been creating quite a stir in the world of electronics over the last few months and is one of the key technologies in the new Xperia Tablet Z from Sony. The Xperia Tablet Z is not only the thinnest and lightest 10.1" tablet on the market but is also the most connected tablet in the world and NFC is central to that.

Gadgets like tablets are fast becoming the very centre of our digital lives. We load them full of our music, photos, videos, games and much more, and they are fantastic devices for consuming all this content when we use them on our own. The problem is, we don't always want to have our friends and family crowding around the screen when we want to show off our holiday photos and we'll struggle to fill a room with music for a party just using the built in speakers. What we need is a simple and easy way to liberate our content, and that's where NFC on the new Xperia Tablet Z comes in!

So, what is NFC?

Near Field Communication or NFC is a set of standards that allow devices to communicate or exchange data via radio signals when they are held in close proximity. Oyster cards or contactless payments using your NFC debit card are examples of NFC you may come across everyday already. That data can also be sets of instructions telling a device to perform a specific task, and that's where it's really useful in devices like tablets or other consumer electronic devices.

Ok, so why do I want it in my gadgets?

NFC makes it incredibly easy to connect devices to each other wirelessly; without complicated set-up. Usually connecting devices requires a reasonable level of technical knowledge, a PIN, passwords, special cables or docks and often a pinch of luck! NFC products eliminate any confusion or frustration. Simply tap two NFC products together and within moments, they're connected.

But what kind of things can I use it for?

With the Xperia Tablet Z we're talking about three key things we can do with NFC and One-touch communication:

One-touch listening.

Imagine you have a few friends around to your flat after work before heading out for the night. There's no better way to get the party started than playing some of your favourite tracks that are either stored on your tablet or streamed via a music streaming service like Music Unlimited. All you have to do is tap the tablet on your NFC-enabled dock and the music starts flowing; party started!


One-touch sharing.

Imagine this familiar scenario; you've just come back from a day out and have a load of photos on your phone which you want to see in more detail and maybe edit on a bigger screen. With its stunning screen the Xperia™ Tablet Z is ideal and it's super easy to transfer all those photos; just tap your NFC smartphone and tablet together and transfer whatever files you want.

And it's not limited to photos - you can transfer all sorts of files, including music and videos, quickly and easily.


One-touch mirroring.

You've just come back from an amazing holiday and you have a collection of cracking photos stored on your tablet. With the family over it's the perfect opportunity to show them the highlights. You could all gather around the tablet, but wouldn't it be better to show them off on your big screen TV, allowing everyone to get a great view?

With the latest W8 and W9 BRAVIAs, that support Miracast, all you have to do is tap the tablet on the smart remote control and your Xperia™ Tablet Z screen is mirrored on the TV. Open your photo app and you can regale your guests with your holiday photos and the stories behind them.


How does it work?

The great thing is you don't need to know how it works... You just bring the two NFC products together and it just works! If you do want to know more, read on.

NFC intentionally has a very short wireless range - only 4cm. But don't worry, you don't have to stand there holding two products 4cm apart. One-touch is a momentary action that simply triggers a number of other actions. For example, it may enable Bluetooth™ to connect a phone to a Bluetooth speaker and pair them before you even get to ask "what do I do next?" When connecting to one of our BRAVIA TVs it's setting up a WiFi Direct or Miracast connection. The short distance is intentional. The need for close proximity is the security system. This is why NFC has no need for passwords. Just make sure you're aware of where the NFC transmitter is situated in the device to make it work smoothly. The transmitter location will the identifiable by the NFC logo. So to be safe, always tap logo to logo.

What other NFC products are available?

Sony will have loads of NFC capable products in the coming months including:

  • Portable Speakers
  • Wireless Headphones
  • Home Theatre Systems
  • VAIO PCs
  • Xperia™ Phones
  • Xperia™ Tablets

Find out more about the available Sony NFC enabled products here