Near field communication, or NFC, is currently(March 2011) available on the newest smartphones. It is available on the Nexus S and will be available on the iPhone5. It is an exciting new development in the close range communications field. It’s primary use will be as a replacement to credit cards if the necessary technology and technical hurdles can be overcome.

It operates in a range of 3cm or less and at a frequency of 13.56 MHz at data rates from 100 to 850 kilobits per sec. NFC is similar to Bluetooth and can be considered to be an extension of bluetooth technology. With NFC there is always a target which is often not powered directly and an initiator which actively seeks out the target or multiple targets. The master generates an RF field which powers the target and allows collection of electronic data from the target. Communication between two powered devices is also possible.

NFC can also be used to setup connections between phones. For example, it can be used to initiate bluetooth communication between devices and pair them without going through the laborious procedure of authorizing two bluetooth devices.

NFC can be considered a good alternative or complement to using 2D codes.
Instead of having a QR code containing the required information, the user could touch his NFC enabled smartphone off a NFC tag and get the information that way, making it slightly quicker than pointing the camera and scanning a QR code or other 2d code.