The NFC Forum, the leading standards body for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, has unveiled its Technology Roadmap outlining key plans and research efforts through 2028.
This comprehensive roadmap includes five key initiatives and offers a unique glimpse into the future of NFC, highlighting the technology’s direction and anticipated product development, market, and business opportunities for the next two to five years.
The technology roadmap was collaboratively developed by leading Forum members, including Board representatives from Apple, Google, Huawei, Identiv, Infineon, NXP, Qualcomm, Sony, and STMicroelectronics as well as the Forum’s 400-member company community.
The five key Forum roadmap innovation priorities include:
- Increased Power for NFC Wireless Charging. The current NFC Wireless Charging specification offers up to 1 watt of power and plans are to increase these capabilities up to 3 watts. This change will bring wireless power and charging to new and smaller form factors, disrupting industrial design while 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.
- Multiple 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.
- Modernising 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.
- Expanding NFC’s Ability 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.
“The exponential growth of NFC technology is a testament to our members’ forward-thinking approach and unwavering dedication to innovation,” said NFC Forum Executive Director Mike McCamon.
“Through our continuously evolving standards, business-line managers and product designers will be able to create new and exciting products and services that customers will love.
As NFC technology becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, our planned features have the potential to significantly enhance the way we pay and receive payments; engage with our favourite brands; power our devices; and access sustainable products and services.”
A little over a year ago, the NFC Forum Board of Directors established a Roadmap Tiger Team to gather and prioritize inputs from various industries and Forum members.
Based on their initial findings, the draft roadmap was circulated among members and the Forum’s numerous liaison partners for validation of its assumptions and priorities.
After extensive discussions with business and technical stakeholders, it was determined that sharing the roadmap publicly would help generate awareness and interest in this important work.
Although the timeframe for this endeavour spans two to five years, the individual work items are currently in varying stages of development, ranging from research to market requirements to draft specifications.
The NFC Forum will collaborate with its 400 members and various industry bodies to extend the reach of its roadmap and ensure its work program is complementary to other industry initiatives.
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