BARCELONA, Spain — Cell phones are usually used to communicate with people far away. This year, they’ll get the ability to do the opposite: communicate with things that are close enough to touch.

Phones will get some surprising capabilities with the addition of chips for near-field communications . NFC is a wireless technology with a range intentionally limited to just a few inches.

The phones will be able to talk to payment terminals designed for smart cards, replacing credit and debit cards. They could be used as mass-transit passes. You could tap two phones together to exchange contact information.

A mobile phone showing the Visa payment platform at this month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Increasingly, cell phones will be able to...

A mobile phone showing the Visa payment platform at this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Increasingly, cell phones will be able to… View Enlarged Image

From www.investors.com