Near Field Communication (NFC) is an emerging short-range wireless communication technology that offers great and varied promise in services such as payment, ticketing, gaming, crowd sourcing, voting, navigation, and many others. NFC technology enables the integration of services from a wide range of applications into one single smartphone. NFC technology has emerged recently, and consequently not much academic data are available yet, although the number of academic research studies carried out in the past two years has already surpassed the total number of the prior works combined. This paper presents the concept of NFC technology in a holistic approach from different perspectives, including hardware improvement and optimization, communication essentials and standards, applications, secure elements, privacy and security, usability analysis, and ecosystem and business issues. Further research opportunities in terms of the academic and business points of view are also explored and discussed at the end of each section. This comprehensive survey will be a valuable guide for researchers and academicians, as well as for business in the NFC technology and ecosystem.
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