Views:18 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2017-12-20 Origin:Site
All you need to know about NFC Stickers
NFC technology is pretty common these days and features in most high-end smart phones. As well as phone to phone communication, small little NFC stickers can also be used to store and transfer information. You will probably have noticed small NFC stickers next to advertisements near bus stops, stickers in shops, or may have even come across the clever idea of using NFC enabled business cards.
NFC product isn't a fundamentally groundbreaking technology. Like Bluetoothand WiFi, it's a wireless radio communications standard. In the wireless world, NFC tag's closest relative is actually RFID (radio frequency identification). Retailers and parcel shipping companies in particular love RFID as a way to keep tabs on inventory supplies and shipments. You can read all about it in How RFID Works.
NFC stickers can store wide ranges of information, from short lines of text, such as a web address or contact details, to links to apps in the Google Play Store. It’s a quick and efficient way to quickly push information to your phone and these little tags can replace bar and QI codes, and could even be used instead of Bluetooth in some cases. So here’s how it works.
They're small and cheap enough to integrate into all sorts of products: posters promoting circus tour dates, ski lift passes, stickers, business cards, prescription bottles and even ruggedized labels meant for outdoor use.
How it works
NFC stickers are passive devices, which means that they operate without a power supply of their own and are reliant on an active device to come into range before they are activated. The trade-off here is that these devices can’t really do any processing of their own, instead they are simply used to transfer information to an active device, such as a smart phone.
In order to power these NFC stickers, electromagnetic induction is used to create a current in the passive device. We won’t get too technical on this, but the basic principle is that coils of wire can be used to produce electromagnetic waves, which can then be picked up and turned back into current by a another coil of wire. This is very similar to the techniques used for wireless charging technologies, albeit much less powerful.
You can call them smart tags, info tags or, in this case, NFC stickers, but their basic architecture is similar to RFID tags. They both have a bit of storage memory, along with a radio chip attached to an antenna.
The active devices, such as your smart phone, are responsible for generating the magnetic field. This is done with a simple coil of wire, which produces magnetic fields perpendicular to the flow of the alternating current in the wire. The strength of the magnetic field can be adjusted by varying the number of turns in the wire coil, or increasing the current flowing through the wire. However, more current obviously requires more energy, and very high power requirements would not be desirable for use in battery powered mobile technologies. Hence why NFC operates over just a few inches, rather than the many meters that we’re used to with other types of wireless communication.
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