The NFC Forum, the standards body for Near Field Communication, has outlined its key plans and research efforts for the next five years, reports The Register. The organization’s members, which include tech giants such as Apple, Google, Qualcomm, Sony, NXP and Huawei, play an important role in the creation and implementation of NFC chips in a variety of devices. Thus, the group’s roadmap provides valuable information about the future of smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices.
The five “innovation priorities” of the NFC Forum roadmap include:
Increased power for NFC wireless charging: The current NFC Wireless Charging specification offers up to one watt of power and plans are to increase these capabilities up to three watts. This change will bring wireless power and charging to new and smaller form factors, disrupting industrial design and defining new markets.
Increased range: Today, NFC connections are limited to a range of 5mm, but the NFC Forum is in the process of examining ranges that are four to six times the current operating distance. Even a modest increase in range would make contactless transactions and actions faster and easier. It would also improve usability by decreasing the precision needed for antenna alignment.
Multi-purpose tap: This feature will further improve the contactless user experience by supporting several actions with a single tap. The use cases driving this work include point-to-point receipt delivery, loyalty identification, and total-journey ticketing.
Modernization of device-to-device communication: Designed to empower NFC-enabled smartphones to have Point-of-Sale functionality (SoftPOS), allowing businesses or individuals to receive payments anywhere.
Enhancing NFC capabilities to share data formats needed for sustainability: Enabling NFC to share data on its composition and ways a product can be recycled, helping to meet evolving consumer demands, and regulatory requirements, as well as contributing to a healthy circulatory economy.
However, the NFC Forum warned that not all of these features will be implemented at the same time or until 2028. Individual work elements are currently in various stages of development, from research to market requirements and draft specifications. The NFC Forum plans to work with its 400 members and various industry organizations to broaden the scope of its roadmap and ensure that its work program complements other industry initiatives.