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What is NFC & how does it work?

If you’ve looked at the hardware specifications for a top of the line handset at any point in the last few years, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen NFC listed on the spec sheet. But despite the age of NFC, it hasn’t yet become the norm for all smartphones. If you’re content with an older handset, or can’t quite justify springing for the latest top of the line model, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. So here’s a rundown of what NFC is, how it works, and what it can be used for.

NFC stands for “Near Field Communication” and, as the name implies, it enables short range communication between compatible devices. This requires at least one transmitting device, and another to receive the signal. A range of devices can use the NFC standard and can be considered either passive or active, depending on how the device works.

via Android Authority.

Using NFC, IBM brings dual-factor authentication to mobile

ZURICH, Switzerland — Banks and major Web sites often combine passwords with people’s phones to offer more secure two-factor authentication when logging onto a service with a PC. But what happens when you’re logging on using a phone?

With a new approach IBM started touting today, NFC, or near-field communications, will fill the void.

NFC wireless links can be used to let people exchange contact information by bumping phones together or to pay for products by waving a phone close to a payment terminal, but it also can be used to enable dual-factor authentication in the mobile device era, said said Diego Ortiz-Yepes, a security and encryption researcher at IBM Research in Zurich.

via CNET News.