Bluetooth, NFC and infrared connectivity explained

There are many ways of communication used by smartphones. While NFC is one of the newest forms of connection, Bluetooth has already been available to mobile phone users for quite a long time, whereas infrared connectivity is no longer used in the modern devices. Explore these options in details in this article.


This is one of the features that is quite handy. Most people may assume, this is old technology and not quite useful now. But that is not true. Bluetooth is widely used in various scenarios where the phone has no choice otherwise or would not perform the same. People who say that basically do not need to use their phone with Bluetooth and they typically rely on Wi-Fi networking. But there are tons of things that are still used with Bluetooth. For instance, connection to your wireless speaker, peripherals, and connecting your phone to your automobiles. The greatest part of having Bluetooth is you go hands-free with your automobiles and use it to navigate around in conjunction with the GPS.

Bluetooth works by pairing with whatever device you want to connect to. The simplest way is to turn on the Bluetooth which typically resides on the drawer that you slide down from the top edge of the screen. But this may vary depending on the make and model of your device. You need to do this on both devices and look for the name of your device and pair it with it. Either you will be asked for a pin or passcode or not at all. Remember that using Bluetooth use quite a lot of battery, so you want to preserve that by turning it off all the time unless you need it.


It stands for Near Field Communication (NFC). This is a chip that is embedded in your mobile devices that creates an electromagnetic field when these devices are put close to each other. The common range for NFC communications could be anywhere from a few centimeters to a few inches. For this to work, these devices need to be within their range. With NFC, data can be exchanged just by placing the device close to each other. The kind of data could be contact information, small files, and payment transactions via stored credit cards with systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay. This technology is widely used in modern mobile devices. Devices like Tap pay devices are increasingly common that used the combination of NFC and your phone so that your credit card just simply stays in your phone.

Magnetic and Chip Readers

Amazing what mobile devices are capable of and the genius minds behind these inventions. With a magnetic reader or a chip reader attached to your smartphone, you can enable quick credit card transactions via the cellular network. This technology is widely used and incredibly useful which frees small vendors or large, ones from the cash registry.

I often see in the news feed or the YouTube videos how gas stations are often the primary target for robbery and such unlawful acts. These people can easily deploy using only credit cards or other such mediums and go cash registry free to disappoint them, robbers.

With these readers, the transaction can take place anywhere between two people.


Infrared in mobile technology has largely been replaced by the fastest technology like Bluetooth and 802.11 wireless. Still infrared was previously the most advanced way of transferring data between devices that were there. It was pretty common and the newest features in the laptops and PDAs back then. Infrared was first used to create the real personal area network (PAN). Infrared uses the wireless Infrared Data Association (IrDA) standard and was massively used to connect devices like wireless remotes, printers, wireless mice, digitizers, and so on. One thing about IrDA was, that it required line of sight, meaning the devices that needed to work together had to be within the closest range of each other, facing each other. The data transfer rate was slow as a snail.

You can find infrared on some modern mobile devices but they do not exchange information. It is one way. This means it does not receive a signal but sends a signal. This way, the mobile device can be used as a remote control. The infrared that works like this is known as Infrared Blaster(IR blaster). IR blaster does require a line of sight but can function at a great distance.