Near Field Communications Coming to Android Handsets


Near Field Communication (NFC), a short-range radio standard, is the technology behind Apple’s recently patented iTravel system, which allows users to purchase travel and concert tickets electronically and use their phone to gain admission. However, NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of NFC hardware, claims that it will be Android handsets that will see the first large-scale introduction of the technology.


According to NXP, NFC hardware should roll out to a large number of Android phones by the end of 2010 and early 2011. The issue facing those wanting to take advantage of such technology is now a matter of the hardware only running with a set of standardized APIs as opposed to an open source alternative.

What sort of uses would you like to see out of NFC tech on Android devices? Assuming a set of developer-friendly APIs follow with the hardware, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to believe Android would receive similar services to iTravel, and maybe sooner, as the latest iPhone prototype leak didn’t seem to indicate NFC hardware would be on board.

[via Near Field Communications World]

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  1. And TicketMaster will only add a small $20.00 “convenience charge” for this ticketless service…

  2. @Haggie lol or hacking of it can make people get free tickets so we will see i guess.

  3. isn’t this pretty common in places like japan or some parts of europe? i’m wondering if it’s the same thing.

  4. @phoenix: It is pretty common in Korea already which makes me wonder about the Apple patent that is mentioned…. but then, it is a US patent ;-). I saw an RFID (which is the technology behind NFC) enabled Android device on a conference in Orlando two weeks ago by a Korean hardware manufacturer. So basically, this is only new in the US – pretty cool anyway.

  5. One could use the cell phone as a wallet, to pay small purchases. With a secure e-wallet app and some RFID (NFC) chip on it, just a wave your phone close a ‘reader’ and a press on an OK button should do the trick.

  6. NFC is a nice starting point for Android phones, but NFC by itself is quite limiting in terms of the potential number of applications, hence its relatively slow adoption to-date. A dual-mode NFC (13.56 MHz) and DASH7 (433 MHz) chip is a compelling option for handset providers. White paper released two weeks ago available here

    Also – nice Read Write Web writeup on the subject here:

  7. Its about dang time , this has being going on in Europe for a few years now. It’s pretty cool you can walk in to a shop, scan an item with your phone and you just bought it. At exiting the store you wave your phone against a terminal to prove you bought the item, and you walk out. Also you can order tickets outside an event and as its going on and to enter you just wave your phone against the hand held device the guy at the door is holding. Anyway many uses it will basically replace wiping out the credit/debit card.

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