NFC – Let’s tread our first step…


Technology knocks, technology touches, technology shakes, and slowly technology makes its way in our world with each passing day. 

We live in the technological era. Every day we are bombarded with a spate of technological innovations. Technology has made it possible to share information with one touch. So, what’s next?

NFC or near field communication is the next big thing which would transform the world of knowledge sharing.

Let’s learn a bit!!

Years back, we were completely dependent on verbal knowledge sharing.  Along came the age of books which helped spread knowledge and ideas to large groups of people.

The brilliance of human minds brought the age of computers. With this innovation, sharing information, ideas, their adoption and encouragement became as easy as fetching sunlight on a bright noon.

Now going ahead, our world is gearing to be migrated to the NFC world where the sharing of information will be just a matter of touch.

As the name speaks, this technology permits wireless communication over a small distance (about 10 cm or almost 4 inches). In simple words, it means if an NFC enabled device (usually our smart phones) is brought in proximity to another NFC enabled device, one device can read information stored in another device or in some cases, share the information among each other.

NFC devices enable the knowledge sharing through three operational modes.

  • Reader/Writer mode – Device can read/write any defined NFC tags. In this mode, the device can read information stored in smart posters or smart displays. This creates perfect marketing opportunities for various companies e.g. user can get to know various offers, upcoming sale, can read the various schedules etc.
  • Peer to peer mode – Two NFC devices can exchange data among each other in physical proximity. With this mode, NFC users can quickly share information like photos, contacts, links, files, etc.
  • Card emulation mode – Through this mode, NFC device acts a contactless smart card which communicates with external device often called POS i.e. point of sale. With this mode, a NFC device user can easily make payments, do ticketing, use coupons etc.

When we talk about education, Read/Write NFC mode seems to be most promising.One of the highly successful deployments of NFC devices in education world is the use of “Smart Posters”.

This was recently adopted by University of Córdoba (Spain), providing information about University faculty and services through the inclusion of multiple NFC tags in a poster format. Users could pull needed information by bringing their NFC-enabled device in proximity to zones of data associated with different NFC tags.

In addition of allowing students access information about faculty, degrees, courses, and research groups, students could wave their mobile at the poster to download a campus map. The smart poster included a tag permits users to automatically request a ticket and make an appointment with a faculty secretary.

In another part of world, NFC has been adopted by the Central College Nottingham in UK. Here, it goes by the name ‘Innovative Technology Brings Language Learning to Life’. It operates as a mobile learning project using interactive posters which is helping international students to improve their English language skills.

English as a Foreign Language (EFL) team sets group challenges for their students, using android smartphones that can read the electronic tags. Recently, EFL learners took part in ‘scavenger-hunt’ trips around the campus to collect words using the phones.

This program has been lauded by students.In focus groups, students reported that investigating words in different places around the college and applying context to them made the learning process easier and fun compared to conventional classroom learning.

Mutually NFC and Education can prove to be perfect partners helping each other to transform. The combination of NFC and Education has the potential to evolve our learning process to the technological level never explored before.

As the era of NFC beckons, it’s important for academic professional to stay updated!!