Transport, IoT, wearables, cloud-based services experts from across the NFC technology sector – all judges for the new NFC Forum Innovations Awards — anticipate the NFC tech trends that will define 2017








This is the third and final blog in our NFC Forum Innovations Award Judge’s 2017 Predictions Blog Series. This week we hear from: Phil Sealy, senior analyst, Digital Security Research Practice, ABI Research; Dr. Katina Michael, IEEE Council on RFID and the University of Wollongong; Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director, Smart Card Alliance and Don Tait, principal analyst, Cybersecurity and Digital ID, IHS Markit Technology. We asked them to anticipate the NFC tech trends that will define 2017 and beyond. Their responses and insights are shared below.

There is still time to enter your product or service in the NFC Forum Innovation Awards. Deadline is January 11, 2017.

Question: What NFC trend or new opportunity will ramp-up or emerge in 2017?

I have always been a strong believer in smart NFC tags.  As more consumer commerce interactions in the future center around smart phone applications enabled with BLE beacons and location-based marketing technologies, there will be increased opportunities for consumers to interact with display ads, smart posters, and in-store product information tags that will provide rich marketing information and promotional offers passed directly to the phone rather than forcing consumers to connecting to their internet browsers to search for information. This capability could be the companion to mobile wallet apps that really drives adoption.

Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director, Smart Card Alliance

Utilizing NFC tags and labels for building consumer relationships and brands and preventing counterfeiting products has the potential to become more mainstream in 2017.

Don Tait, principal analyst, Cybersecurity and Digital ID, IHS Markit Technology 

Question: Where do you think the innovation in NFC will come from over the next few years?

One of the major challenges of the IoT will be the secure provisioning of numerous headless IoT devices such as smart bulbs and motion sensors, among many others, that come without displays or buttons. NFC has the potential to help pair these devices to the access point / router, hub or gateway device in a quick and secure manner. For example, a ZigBee smart bulb with an embedded NFC tag could connect securely to the smart home network just by tapping it against the NFC chip on the gateway device, simplifying the whole pairing process. NXP demonstrated an implementation of this at MWC 2016. Driving further growth will be the proliferation of access points / routers that incorporate multiple connectivity protocols. Multi-protocol routers that incorporate different connectivity solutions including ZigBee, Thread, Bluetooth Smart, Wi-Fi, will be able to benefit from technologies such as NFC in order to easily and securely pair and commission these devices to the network despite using different protocols. We expect to see NFC gain traction in these markets over the next few years.

Phil Sealy, senior analyst, Digital Security Research Practice, ABI Research

Over the next few years, NFC will continue to change the face of mobile computing, especially in the financial payment scheme arena. Innovation will focus on human-centric interactions for monetary transactions. We have witnessed for some time, a sharp decrease in the use of cheques and the commensurate increase in the use of plastic cards. Similarly, NFC will enable the decrease in the use of contact-based cards like smart cards, and the increase of wireless transactions via smartphones and smart watches and apparel. As this is the case, a lot of the incremental innovation will immediately focus on security schemes that allow for secure transactions in systems that are insecure by their very nature.

Dr. Katina Michael, Associate Dean International at the University of Wollongong, Australia, senior member of the IEEE, plus board member of IEEE Council on RFID

NFC Forum Innovation Awards – Enter Now

Companies and developers using NFC in new, disruptive and innovative ways are invited to submit award entries showcasing their work for the chance to win in one of three award categories. There is no cost to enter and the deadline for award submissions is January 11, 2017.

Semi-finalists will be invited to the NFC Innovation Awards Reception on March 14, 2017, in Las Vegas, which is co-located with the NFC Forum’s Members Meeting. Finalists receive two nights paid hotel room in Las Vegas, award trophy, global recognition and networking opportunities.

For more information about the awards and to submit an entry: Sponsorship opportunities at the awards ceremony are available. For more information, visit here:

Parts I and II of this blog series can be found: and