Universal Stylus Initiative-enabled Active Styluses Expand NFC Technology Use Cases

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – February 28, 2022 – The NFC Forum, the global standards-body for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, announced today that the Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) will incorporate the NFC Wireless Charging Specification (WLC) opening up new use cases for NFC technology.  An announcement from USI can be found here.

USI integrated NFC wireless charging into its active stylus specification (USI 2.0) giving USI-enabled active styluses the capability to be wirelessly charged with a compatible smartphone or other Near Field Communications (NFC) charging device at a power transfer rate of up to one watt.  This will improve the user experience for the almost three billion consumers and businesses using smartphones and the millions using active styluses with tablets, phones and laptops.

“As the capabilities of NFC technology extend beyond payment, the use of wireless charging for active styluses is an ideal application as it makes it easier for consumers to charge low-power consumer devices by eliminating the cost and inconvenience of plug connectors and cords,” said Mike McCamon, executive director, NFC Forum. “The simplicity and ease of use of wireless charging means that consumer adoption will be rapid.”

Today’s news follows last year’s launch of the Digital Key use case for the automotive and access control markets which further leverages the ubiquity of NFC technology in mobile phones to simplify consumers’ digital lives. The Digital Key and Wireless Charging initiatives comprised the most popular use cases requested from the NFC Forum over the past 18 months indicating strong interest across these two new use cases.

About The NFC Forum Wireless Charging Specification

The WLC enables a single antenna in an NFC-enabled device to manage both communications and charging. This solution makes it easier and more convenient to charge low-power IoT devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, wireless earbuds, digital pens and other consumer devices.

This NFC specification uses the 13.56 MHz base frequency and leverages the NFC communication link to control the power transfer.  NFC technology is unique in that it allows the transfer of power to an NFC tag to enable communication by providing a constant carrier signal. The WLC specification extends this communication functionality of NFC technology to enable wireless charging.

About the NFC Forum

The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology.

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