NFC for Beginners – A short introduction


What is NFC, actually?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication.

It is a Wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 4 centimetre distance.

Translated into consumer technology this means NFC can enable simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices,

This means NFC allows consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content, and connect electronic devices with a single touch.

NFC is based on RFID technology at 13,56 MHz.

A Short History of NFC

2002: NFC co-invented by Sony and Philips Semiconductor (NXP)

2004: NFC Forum established by Sony, Philips, and Nokia

2006: Initial Specifications for NFC Tags & “SmartPoster” records

2009: Specifications for Peer-to-Peer data transfer

2010: Launch of “N” mark by NFC Forum and first NFC compatible smartphone released

What does the NFC Forum do?nfc_forum

The NFC Forum is dedicated to promoting the security, ease of use, and popularity of Near Field Communication. It aims to educate businesses about the technology and upholds standards that allow NFC to operate between different devices. Those who wish to create NFC compliant devices must meet these standards set forth by the NFC Forum. This ensures that any user with any NFC device can use it with any other NFC device or NFC tag.

The Future of NFC

The Vision for NFC technology is to create the convergence of services in your daily life with NFC. It means that the access of any service would be literally at your fingertips, all in one device: your smartphone. No more wallets overflowing with coupons, loyalty cards and payment cards, no risk of loosing paper tickets or not having enough coins for parking.


How does it work? – The technical stuff

Devices using NFC may be active or passive. A passive device, such as an NFC tag, contains information that other devices can read but does not read any information itself. Think of a passive device as a sign on a wall. Others can read the information, but the sign itself does nothing except transmit the info to authorized devices.

Active devices can read information and send it. An active NFC device, like a smartphone, would not only be able to collect information from NFC tags, but it would also be able to exchange information with other compatible phones or devices and could even alter the information on the NFC tag if authorized to make such changes.


NFC devices are unique in that they can change their mode of operation to be in read/write mode, peer-to-peer mode or card emulation mode. The different operating modes are based on the ISO/IEC 18092 NFC IP-1 and ISO/IEC 14443 contactless smartcard standards. In order to obtain a NFC certification, devices must support at least two of the three modes.

And what about security?

To ensure security, NFC often establishes a secure channel and uses encryption when sending sensitive information such as credit card numbers. Users can further protect their private data by keeping anti-virus software on their smartphones and adding a password to the phone so a thief cannot use it in the event that the smartphone is lost or stolen.

More technical stuff: So, what exactly is an NFC Tag?

An NFC Tag is a (passive) HF contactless tag capable of storing NDEF formatted data, which operates with ISO 14443, ISO 15693 or Felica infrastructure and NFC devices as defined by the NFC forum.

An NFC Forum Tag is compatible to one of five NFC forum Tag platforms capable of storing NDEF formated data.

Every NFC Forum tag is also an NFC tag. Every NFC tag is also an HF RFID tag – but not vice versa!



And how does RFIP Ltd fit into this?

hid_logoAll our HID products on the RFID Shop that hold a Mifare DESFire or UL chip can be used as NFC Forum tags today and become NFC tags as soon as a NDEF data structure is written to them. Essentially, the entire HF tag portfolio of HID Global can be used as NFC tags.

RFIP Ltd consultancy services can also help with the design and implementation of NFC technology.

Interested? Contact us: email: phone: 01865 339 600


The RFID Shop Newsletter – October 2016

RFIDShop New in The RFID Shop – October 2016



TSS New release



By popular demand, TSS have developed a handheld reader that is Bluetooth enabled. Based on their successful HUR120, this nifty device has everything that made it popular before and more!

Bluetooth capability provides now even more flexibility. Any Bluetooth enabled device such as your Smartphone or tablet will allow you to communicate with this reader.

And its long battery life, it works continuously for 10 hours without charging, offers unsurpassed reliability.

It still possesses its lightweight ergonomic shape and is just as easy to integrate as before.

TSS are one of our most successful suppliers. Established in 2011 in the Slovak Republic, they focus on making the integration of UHF RFID technology easier and more cost effective through the creation of user friendly and affordable devices.

They remain in close contact with their customers and aim to improve their products continuously by listening to requests and suggestions.

They started their business with two clever, straightforward and very reliable UHF RFID Readers: the DUR120 and HUR120.

DUR_splodgeDUR 120 USB is ideal for USB desktop applications where high performance and advanced functionality are required.


a small (11cmx11cm) easy-to-use UHF RFID desktop reader

powered and controlled directly by a USB interface

integrated antenna for short- to medium- range applications

ergonomic shape

flexible mounting options

goldreader_splodgeMore recently TSS have added to their portfolio the Gold Reader


a simple fixed low profile reader

users can start reading tags and developing solutions immediately

communicates via Low Level Reader Protocol

LLRP ToolKit allows easy development of custom interfaces and software solutions

POE capability allows power to be delivered over properly-equipped local area networks, eliminating expensive AC wiring installation. email: phone: 01865 339 600