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ABI Research: Big NFC Progress by 2007

ABI Research has released a report on near field communication (NFC), predicting that the next three years will see important maturation for both the technology itself and the NFC market. This article provides a recap.
Nov 03, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

November 3, 2005—ABI Research has released a report on near field communication (NFC), predicting that the next three years will see important maturation for both the technology itself and the NFC market. NFC is a short-range RFID-based wireless technology that allows data transfer between electronic devices. Described by the NFC Forum as "the intuitive link between consumer devices", NFC will enable conveniences such as waving a cell phone in front of a movie poster to purchase tickets. For more on the technology, see this 9-page white paper.

Erik Michielsen, ABI's director of RFID and ubiquitous networks, characterized the next three years as NFC's development from "infancy" to "young adult". This year the groundwork has been laid, he says. The NFC Forum, founded in 2004 by Sony and Philips to promote the technology as a platform, has grown to include more than 60 members, including names like Microsoft, Nokia, Visa, MasterCard, NEC, Texas Instruments, Motorola, and Samsung. Wireless carriers, handset OEMs, application developers, payment processors, infrastructure providers, content owners, card issuers, banks and merchants are all represented in the membership.

Michielsen sees next year as being focused primarily on NFC trials, with the first products coming to market. "2006 will be a year of trials and trial data digestion," he said. "NFC standards, licensing, and interoperability will solidify. Commercial NFC products will reach market." But it is 2007 when the momentum will really build. ABI predicts NFC will show up first in cell phones, then spread across the spectrum of consumer electronic devices, from PCs to cameras to printers to set-top boxes. For this to happen, of course, the trials and standardization efforts of 2006 must be successful.

Assuming that it does happen, the RFID industry will benefit. Not only will another demand channel for RFID technology open, the increasing ubiquity of NFC devices will effectively mean that consumers are carrying around RFID readers in their pockets. At that level of penetration, the Internet of Things becomes very real.

See the press release announcing the report
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