The NFC Forum has unveiled its roadmap for the future development of NFC-based solutions and devices. With over 400 members, the organization aims to go beyond tap-style payments and explore new applications for its short-range wireless technology.
One of the key areas of focus is wireless power. Currently, NFC wireless power can charge at up to one watt, but The Forum is exploring the possibility of increasing it to three watts through an NFC connection. This would enable a wider range of devices to be charged and reduce charging times for accessories such as headsets and styluses. It could also lead to the development of devices that can be charged with NFC-enabled phones in new form factors or with better industrial design.
The NFC Forum is also looking into the multi-purpose tapping feature. Currently, tapping an NFC phone or card during a payment only accomplishes a single transaction. However, with multi-purpose tapping, users could accomplish more without the need for multiple transactions. This could include receiving a paperless receipt, gaining loyalty card credits, or confirming a shopper’s legal age when purchasing alcohol.
Extending the NFC read range is another area of interest for The Forum. They are researching how they can increase the range beyond the current five millimeters. A longer range would allow for faster transactions as users wouldn’t have to line their phone or card as close to the reader. It would also enable device manufacturers to embed the antenna further inside the device.
Device-to-Device functionality is also being explored by The NFC Forum. This would allow two mobile devices to conduct business transactions, such as a sales transaction. It could also include support for security standards to authenticate sensitive data sharing between two phones.
In addition to these features, The Forum is working on expanded data formats that can support sustainability initiatives. They are looking at using NFC to manage digital product passport (DPP) information, which describes the sustainability and repairability of products. NFC chips could store and carry this information, providing a lower carbon footprint compared to QR codes.
Overall, the NFC Forum’s roadmap includes five new features that could revolutionize the use of NFC technology. With wireless charging options, extended read range, multi-purpose tapping, device-to-device functionality, and support for sustainability initiatives, NFC has the potential to go beyond tap-style payments and create new possibilities in various industries.