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Latest NFC Specs Offer Interoperability to a Growing Market

The NFC Forum's 2017 Technical Specification offers new specs and modifications to existing ones intended to ensure legacy and future Near Field Communication technologies can interoperate as the number of NFC applications swells.
By Claire Swedberg

In addition, the Logical Link Control Protocol (LLCP) Specification Version 1.3 will enable an automatic linkage to a peer-to-peer communication between NFC readers, only when authorized by a user. The specification's intention is to reduce the risk of data being intercepted by unauthorized individuals who bring their NFC reader within range of someone's phone.

The other specifications address different tag types, as well as a standard for record type definitions (RTDs) to identify how data is stored. The NFC Forum Certification program is already applying the latest specifications to its testing services, Hunter reports.

The variety of NFC-based applications is expected to continue growing. Hunter cites the NikeConnect app (downloadable at GooglePlay and iTunes), provided by Nike for National Basketball Association (NBA)-connected jerseys that provide access to game and team content when a phone is tapped against the shirt's built-in tag.

For iOS devices, a new app known as EndlessID provides access to emergency personnel regarding patient medical information with the tap of a phone against an NFC-enabled wristband. In addition, she predicts more smart-home and smart-home deployments will require NFC technology, such as tags attached to appliances for content access by consumers within the home, or transit information about bus schedules available in public places. "NFC is a very solid market going through huge changes," Hunter says.

More specification updates can be expected in 2018, Hunter says. "Every year," she states, "we go through a pretty rigorous review of the specifications, based on member companies' interest." NFC Forum special interest groups are also in the process of seeking out specifications requirements, and are learning whether existing specs are being met within such vertical markets as automotive, the IoT, connected homes and transportation.

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