The Near Field Communication wiki last edited by DeF on 03/13/13 03:49AM
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Near Field Communication (NFC) is somewhat comparable to Bluetooth in that it allows radio communication between certain devices. It differs from Bluetooth in the way that it uses less power and the devices don't need to be "paired" to communicate since they connect automatically by physical contact or very close proximity.
NFC technology is currently found in many places that offer public transportation or vending machines as a method of payment. Certain credit cards contain chips that support NFC as well, so you just need to hold your credit card close to the scanning device and your transaction is complete. Many modern smartphones also incorporate NFC tech.
In videogames, NFC has helped fuel the madness that is Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. The game comes with an NFC device called the Portal of Power and you use actual toy figurines to interact with it. Placing them on the portal causes the corresponding character to appear in the game. The chip in the figurine can store limited save data so you can level up your character at home and just take the figurine with you to a friend's place, put it onto their Portal of Power and it will appear as the exact same leveled-up character you played as at home. Activision CEOs take daily money-baths because they keep selling limited edition Skylanders toys and the "collect 'em all"-mentality in young and old children alike translated into high demand causing supply shortages that magically seem to cause even more demand (see: Wii launch).
In January 2012, Nintendo announced its Wii U controller will also support NFC and it is likely going to be one of the system's main selling points. This lead many press outlets and fans to speculate that this will inevitably lead to Nintendo going down the Skylanders path with their own Pokémon brand, effectively bringing about the End of Days for many parent's wallets. In April 2012, an internal video from Ubisoft leaked, showing off a developer concept for Rayman Legends utilizing NFC. In the video, placing figurines on the Wii U tablet controller initiated effects of power ups or caused characters to appear in the game. This feature, however, is not included in the final game.