NFC Forum partnerships aim to further new technology applications
Near field communication can add capabilities to package tracking and support wireless charging interfaces
The NFC Forum has reached liason agreements with the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association and the Wireless Power Consortium to allow for the adoption and usability of Near Field Communication in packaging and wireless charging.
NFC technology can add intelligence and new capabilities to packaging to provide information, lower costs, reduce waste and increase profitability, says the NFC Forum. In the area of wireless charging, it says NFC technology can supporting greater interoperability and more compact and cost-efficient charging interfaces.
The NFC Forum’s global member companies are currently developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability. Members include Apple Inc., Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd., Google, Inc., Intel, MasterCard Worldwide, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics and Visa Inc.
“These collaborations were established in order to promote, educate and increase interest in and the use of NFC,” said Paula Hunter, executive director of the NFC Forum. “Our liaison relationships are focused on unleashing innovations and removing barriers to interoperability for industry and consumers so that businesses and people everywhere can take advantage of NFC technology.”
With the agreement in place, the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association and the NFC Forum will focus on developing the latest technological innovations in intelligent and active packaging solutions. AIPIA believes that implementation of new technologies in packaging is key to growth, enhanced efficiency and security as well as reduced waste and better control in sales and marketing.
Early applications of NFC technology in smart packaging include smartphone-enabled interactive tags & labels and time-temperature monitors. Both groups think this will be the fastest growing segment, increasing at a double-digit annual rate as NFC becomes more commercially feasible for mass-volume consumer products, following earlier NFC adoptions by higher-value goods. AIPIA is supporting implementation of smart packaging throughout the industry, enforcing the adoption of standardization platforms, participating in commercial ready-to-market events, connecting industry players and lobbying activities to various governments worldwide.
“AIPIA is delighted to be working with the NFC Forum to increase the understanding and adoption of Near Field Communication technology in the packaging sector,” said Eef de Ferrante, executive director of AIPIA. This is already a key component of many smart or intelligent packs. By setting up this liaison agreement there will be a better flow of information, which we feel sure will increase the number of NFC-enabled packs in the marketplace, as well as ensuring the correct standards and protocols are observed.”
The partnership of Wireless Power Consortium and the NFC Forum will allow for more education in the industry about use cases and standardization for products in wireless charging. WPC has created an interface specification, called Qi, for wireless power transfer. Qi is the global standard that makes all phones that support wireless charging compatible with wireless chargers used at home, in the office, and while driving.
“Wireless chargers are sophisticated products that are safe, efficient, and easy to use. Millions of wireless charging products based on Qi are used safely every day,” said Menno Treffers, chairman of the WPC. “In collaboration with the NFC Forum, we are excited to continue to push education on the use cases and standardization for products in wireless charging.”
WPC operates a certification program to ensure that products, like NFC Forum devices, supporting Qi based wireless charging can transfer energy seamlessly. This program will include requirements and test methods for Qi wireless transmitters to protect NFC Forum devices and tags. The groups say the implementation of NFC and wireless charging will create more compact and cost-efficient charging interfaces for portable devices, mitigate the problem of the gap between battery capacity and device power consumption, and create opportunities for integrating NFC-based services into charging applications.