Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology to enable 2-way interactions between electronic devices.
The technology is based on RFID, which makes it compatible with the existing contactless infrastructure already in use for public transportation and payment. NFC is suitable for applications that can make plastic cards and paper tickets obsolete, resulting in cost savings and a solution to business/consumer needs in multiple industries.
Communication is enabled by bringing two NFC compatible devices within a few centimetres of one another or for the two devices to literally "touch" one another. NFC is compatible with the 13.56 MHz family and is based on the ISO standard 18092 approved in 2003 that integrates standard 14443 (which defines so-called "proximity" systems that can reach over 10 cm), as well as Sony's FeliCa and Philips's MIFARE systems (e.g. Oyster).
Due to end in late May, O2 launched of the UK's first large scale pilot of NFC (Near Field Communications) technology on mobile phones. The trial of the O2 Wallet could pave the way for the mass market use of mobile phones to pay for purchases, access events or even be used for travel around London, simply by touching the phone to a reader.
For more on NFC from Nokia’s Viewpoint
NFC Commercial Opportunities
At CES (and probably at CeBIT, too) Parrot demonstrated the first NFC-enabled product line comprising a digital photo frame, a hi-fi speaker system, a conferencing system and a car kit which all work with a Nokia NFC enabled phone
“The added value lies in the fact that NFC is fast and easy to use, while guaranteeing at the same time a high level of security” says Henri Seydoux, founder and CEO of Parrot. “The range of potential applications, from digital photo frames to music and car kits will add real value to the consumer.”
Parrot stresses it currently has no commercial offering with NFC so far. The NFC enabled photo frame, Hi-Fi speaker system, conferencing system and car-kits are exclusively for test purposes.
When Polly Wants to Pay for a Cracker
For Standards Info, the NFC Forum