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Near Field Communication
Near Field Communication Technology (NFC) jointly developed by Sony and Phillips was approved as an ISO/IEC standard (ISO 18092) on 8.12.2003 Nokia has also joined in the consortium to develop NFC and press reports say we can be expecting consumer products later in 2004.
- Maximum working distance: 10cm (4 inches)
- Speed: 106kbps, 212kbps or 424kbps
- One-way or Two-way communication
- NFC can be used to configure and initiate other wireless network connections such as?Bluetooth or Wlan
- Data is read utilizing load modulation whatever that means
New specs: In addition to the original modes of Active (two directional) and Passive (one way) communications it is now apparent that they have introduced a third mode of operation: A w:Transponder ie. the tag gets it's power from the other device which enables tags without batteries and electiric grid access to communicate information as a NFC device with power is brought into range 
This could be very useful in product identification if embedded into shelves and mobile phones.
According to Wi-Fi Planet: "NFC reportedly would cost 20 cents per chip." But this should propably be taken in the light that in around 2000 it was reported that Bluetooth radio would cost 5$/unit in 2003 and considering that to the price of around 50$ for an USB dongle in that time.
Rapid NFC adaptation scenario
Shelf embedded NFC
Most advanced retailers will have NFC enabled shelves with graphical icons representing products bringing the identification and information dispensing straight to the shelve side.
This new type of tag, the transponder tag, significantly lowers the cost of utilizing NFC for product identification by touching icons on the store shelf, which is the ultimate in usability among different identification schemes, since the shelves don't need to be wired for supplying electricity to the tags.
Barcode + NFC kiosks
Check-out digital receipts via NFC
Even non-friendly retail will agree to provide digital receipts for Checkout Consumerium functionality, wherein you can grab the GTINs of your shopping basket to your cell phone or pda by touching the cashier machine after payment and then go home and touch your computer with your device and have the product identification data transferred to your computer and start using out-of-store Consumerium Services. This will enable your kids to take up consumerium as a game as they have the spare time to evaluate products, companies and services.
NFC enabled recycling bins
Embedding NFC into recycling bins will offer customised recycling information in cooperation with in-store systems.
- Every bin knows the bins in their vincinity. Those in the same bin housing and also a selection of more detailed and varied recycling facilities with coordinates for map guidance services
- The consumer chooses which bin s/he is going to use ie. what kind of bins, baskets, bags s/he has set up and is willing to sort waste to. The information is stored in pda/cell phone
- Connecting her/his device with retail systems will at the check-out counter automatically build and store a customized recycling plan as a part of Checkout Consumerium Services according to recycling bin information available, this plan can then be transferred to home computer for easy access.
Peer-reviewed recyclable quality control
NFC enabled recycling bins makes it easy for anyone to report to the bin if they spot something that does not belong there such as plastics in paper recycling or biowaste bins.
- Just touch the bin with your cell phone and choose the correct report from the menu provided by the recycling bin
- The recycling technicians when they come to empty the bins can have this information transferred to the truck and from thereon to the recyclable processing facility or may remove the misplaced item(s) on spot if they have the time and means to do so.
This way caring for correct recycling procedure does not require you to get your hands dirty.
- http://www.nfc-forum.org/ - established By Phillips, Sony and Nokia on 18.03.2004
- Nokia announces NFC enabled mobile phone covers (shells) for Nokia 3220
- A very descriptive PDF from Ecma-international - illustrates operation very well
- A press relese from ECMA - on the acceptance of Ecma-340 as ISO/IEC 18092
- Phillips on NFC
- Sony on NFC
- Wired articleon NFC