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How NFC works and what we can do with this technology

Nowadays paying with the mobile or the watch, reading cards and chips and connecting to any device simply by bringing it closer is something of the most common, something that has become the daily life of users thanks to the fact that most of the smartphones and wearables on the market carry a NFC chip, Near Field Communication, chip that allows information to be exchanged between two devices at a short distance.

NFC technology is not new at all, but has been with us for many years, and it was approved in 2003 and began to be installed massively in all types of devices since 2008, more than 10 years ago.

NFC chips are capable of generating or detecting small electromagnetic fields when they approach other chips within 10 centimeters, allowing them to exchange information at a speed of 424 kilobits per second. The memory of these chips varies from a few bytes to almost 1 KB.

There are two types of NFC chips: assets, which are those that allow the generation of electromagnetic fields and detect fields generated by other chips to exchange data, and Passives, that they are only capable of detecting electromagnetic fields and connecting to them, but not generating new fields.

Uses of NFC technology

NFC connections can be used for a large number of purposes. One of the best known and widespread uses, as ANOVO tells us, is the possibility of make payments in any store or business. In addition to Android Pay and Apple Pay, banks have applications that allow us to directly use our cards to pay anywhere using our mobile phone or a smartwatch. This saves us having to carry cards and even cash with us.

Apple carries including NFC chips on iPhones for a long time, however, it is not until now that it is finally going to release the API to allow third parties to make use of this technology. Thus, with the arrival of iOS 13 this summer, it is very likely that we can see a new use for the NFC: the possibility of identifying ourselves. IPhones, like Android smartphones with this chip, can record the DNIe and be used to identify us with our mobile. This will start after the summer in Germany and other countries, although its arrival in Spain is quite up in the air.

NFC Apple

Another interesting use of NFC is the possibility of connect our mobile to any device simply by zooming in. Thus, it is possible to connect to headphones, speakers and even routers simply by bringing our smartphone closer to the chip in question of these devices, saving us the tedious task of having to link them manually.

NFC speaker

Lastly, these chips can be used to automate tasks, especially on Android. We can configure the chips with a series of actions so that, if we place a tag in our car, the mobile will automatically connect to bluetooth and drive mode will be activated, while, if we place it in the room, this chip can activate the alarm and put the mobile on silence. The possibilities of tags are limitless.

What to do if I cannot use NFC on my mobile

Except for low-end mobiles, almost all other ranges tend to have these chips since their cost is practically negligible and represents an important plus in functionality. If when using our NFC chip it does not work or does not recognize other chips, the first thing to do is check that we have the NFC connection enabled on Android. On iOS this is always active, so this is not a problem.

NFC Android

If we cannot find the option to activate the NFC on our smartphone, it may not have this chip. In that case we will have to look at the technical specifications of the mobile on a specialized website and, if it does not have the chip, we will not be able to do anything.

Finally, if our smartphone has this chip, we have it enabled, but it still does not work, it may have been damaged. As changing smartphones is usually quite expensive, we can go to an official technical service such as ANOVO to repair the NFC chip of our mobile and make it work normally again.

ANOVO has a network of proximity centers, ANOVO care, located in Madrid, Barcelona and Las Palmas, where they can advise you on the type of repair your mobile needs.