Sunday, August 13, 2006

NFC Forum Targets Wireless Near Field Communications

The NFC Forum, an industry association backed by HP, MasterCard, Microsoft, Nokia, NEC, Panasonic, Renesas, Philips Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Texas Instruments and Visa among others, announced the publication of its first four specifications.

NFC technology is a short-range, standards-based wireless connectivity technology that will allow consumers to perform safe contactless transactions, access digital content and connect electronic devices with a single touch. For example, consumers might use NFC-enabled mobile phones to make contactless financial transactions, gain electronic access to transportation networks or touch a Smart Poster to receive digital content.

NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters. The underlying layers of NFC technology are ISO, ECMA, and ETSI standards.

The new specifications make it possible for any manufacturer to create NFC-Forum-compliant devices that will be interoperable with other manufacturers' devices and compatible with the NFC-Forum-compliant offerings of service providers, ensuring successful communication between devices and tags.

The four specifications are:

  • NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) Technical Specification (specifies a common data format for NFC Forum-compliant devices and NFC Forum-compliant tags)

  • NFC Record Type Definition (RTD) Technical Specification (specifies standard record types used in messages between two NFC Forum-compliant devices or between NFC Forum-compliant devices and tags)

  • NFC Text RTD Technical Specification (for records containing plain text that can be read by NFC-enabled devices)

  • NFC URI RTD Technical Specification (for elements that refer to an Internet resource that can be read by NFC-enabled devices)
  • In June of this year, the NFC Forum unveiled its modular NFC device architecture and protocols for interoperable data exchange, device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability. Additional specifications are still in development.

See also