The 3 Near Field Communication Modes

By Robert R. Sabella

NFC provides three basic modes of operation. These modes make NFC different from other wireless technologies such as RFID; they provide NFC with the flexibility needed to create an environment in which you can use NFC for a huge array of communication needs. The following list gives you an overview of the three NFC modes:

  • Card emulation: Provides the means to replace a credit or debit card with an NFC-enabled device. Rather than use a credit or debit card, you rely on the NFC-enabled device to make the transaction. This mode also includes other sorts of card-type applications, such as identification cards, motel pass cards, loyalty cards, ticketing, access control, and any other sort of card-related task you can think of.
  • Discovery (read and write): Allows a user to interact with various information sources. This form of NFC application provides interaction with smart advertising, downloading coupons, getting information from kiosks, and using all sorts of other information sources that rely on both tags and smart posters. It is also possible to write information to these smart information sources using the right NFC-enabled device.
  • Peer-to-peer communication: Creates connectivity between two NFC-enabled devices. When you exchange information with any other smartphone user or create an ad-hoc network to collaborate on tasks, you’re using the peer-to-peer mode of NFC. Using NFC in this mode is like having a secure network in your pocket that you can use in any location with complete peace of mind.