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By 18 April 2011 | Categories: news

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Near Field Communication (NFC) is one of the hottest buzzwords in the mobile industry at the moment, with the technology capable of wholly transforming the way we view mobile phones today. Imagine being able to purchase groceries or a train ticket by simply swiping your phone in front of a receiver, because that technology is right around the corner.

Now Samsung has provided a tiny insight into what the NFC-enabled future may hold for consumers. According to IMS Research, the mobile phone market is predicted to grow from 1.4 to 1.8 billion units by 2015, with NFC-enabled phones (such as the new Nexus S, co-developed by Google and Samsung) expected to make up a massive 26% of all active devices by 2015.

“Early this year, the SSMA Association representing the interests of the world wide mobile communications industry released a statement announcing a joint commitment from some of the world's leading mobile operators to NFC Technology and Samsung is committed to joining the operator and developer community to bring this technology to the fore,” said Paulo Ferreira, head of mobile product and business solutions at Samsung.

NFC is capable of transmitting encrypted (secure) data between your mobile device and another NFC-enabled device from a short range (up to 10 cm). This high frequency wireless communication method allows smartphones to collect or transmit data to NFC devices without manual configuration such as struggling to pair devices with Bluetooth, or identifying wireless networks.

This makes it possible for NFC-enabled devices to serve as a kind of Fifth Element style 'Multi Pass', enabling users to, for example, pay for public transportation, buy groceries, or simply go to the mall, effectively removing the need to carry a wallet altogether.

The technology can also read RFID tags for on-the-spot data access. “An example of this would be if you see a poster that interests you and by touching your NFC-enabled phone to the N-Mark, the details are transferred and stored on the phone. Another example would be in a business meeting, where electronic business cards can be shared by just touching the phone together,” said Ferreira.

According to major chip manufacturer NXP Semiconductors, the massive potential of the technology will see a predicted 40 to 50 million NFC phones on the market by the end of 2011, with three-quarters being fully NFC-enabled devices.

“Samsung's latest NFC chip offers a competitive choice for next-generation smartphones with NFC capabilities. These devices can instantly establish a wireless peer-to-peer connection and directly handover to Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi connection for fast, convenient data transmission,” Ferreira concluded.  

The technology definitely sounds promising, let’s just hope it doesn’t take an extra two years to be adopted locally. 

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