5 things you'll be doing with NFC in 2013

Near Field Communication tech is appearing in more and more gadgets – here's what you'll be using it for this year

Control your air conditioning

The new LG Whisen air conditioner is crammed full of tech – including NFC. Simply tap your smartphone against it and it'll set the temperature to the preset on your phone. Alternatively, you can just shout at it – it comes complete with voice recognition technology, and can even recognise where you are in the room and direct airflow towards you. The price alone should give you a chill – pricing starts at $US23,000 and goes all the way up to US$50,000 for the top-of-the-range model.

Pay your restaurant bill

Once you've finished dining in a restaurant, flagging down a waiter for the bill is a pain in the backside. Korean company Moneual is planning to do away with that chore, by packing its touchscreen café tables with NFC tech.  Simply pop your phone on the table and pay up. Presto!

Turn your smartphone into a car key

Hyundai wants to do away with the car key altogether – it's unveiled the Hyundai Connectivity Concept, a NFC-equipped car that can be locked and unlocked with a smartphone. Once inside, simply pop your phone into the car's NFC cradle and it'll start up, and automatically switch to your preferred seating, in-car temperature and radio configuration. Your phone even doubles up as an ignition key – so you really won't want to lose it. 

Use an NFC tag to unlock your phone

Smartphone lockscreens are all very well, but smudgy marks make it relatively easy for ne'er do wells to work out where you've been planting your fingers. The newly-released NFC Secure Beta app lets you use an NFC tag as a physical key for your Android phone. In the future, apps like this could be used to deny access to certain areas of your phone when a particular key's used – for example, preventing a child from making calls of buying apps on your phone, and limiting them to playing games.

Organise your sock drawer

Yes, you can pack NFC into anything – these smart socks from Blacksocks are kitted out with NFC tag that lets you check how many times each sock's been washed, and pair it up with its proper counterpart. They're pricey, though, at US$190 (£118) for a pack of ten.

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