Pause and Reflect on 2017; Get Ready for a Busy 2018!

By Koichi Tagawa and Alexander Rensink, Co-Chairs, NFC Forum

This is the time of year we pause to reflect on the previous year’s successes and look forward to what challenges lay ahead.  By any measure, 2017 was one of the NFC Forum’s most productive years ever.

Market activity, increased consumer use of NFC and a number of new NFC Forum initiatives combined to keep the NFC Forum leadership and members engaged and busy.  Some milestones and key market activity from 2017 have included:

NFC Forum Tag Certification Launched: As IoT opportunities for NFC have multiplied, we’ve put the future of tags on a sure path. Developed by the IoT SIG, Technical and Compliance Committees, the NFC Forum has already certified 25 NFC tags under this program.

More Partnerships:  Liaisons were signed with partners in two rapidly growing areas:  Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) and the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).

Apple Onboard:  Apple opened up for NFC tag reading with the introduction of iOS 11 on iPhones 7 and higher and the impact was almost immediate.  In the first month after NFC Forum member Apple’s NFC announcement, for example, Apple NFC apps doubled to nearly 60.

Basketballs and Cars: The surge of NFC-enabled tags and devices used by consumers continued in 2017. NFC Forum member Nike unveiled an NFC-enabled wearable National Basketball Association jersey and Honda incorporated NFC tags and logo on the dashboard of the new Accord.

Asia Coming on Strong:  Our VISIONFC Transport Summit in Vietnam featured six public transport operators and analysts from the region.


What’s Next For The New Year?

Looking ahead, 2018 is already shaping up to be an even busier and more productive year for the NFC Forum.

The March Member Meeting will be held at Googleplex on the Google campus and we expect a record turnout of members.  This member meeting will feature something new, too.

Called the “Connections Summit,” this one-day event hosted by the NFC Forum, RAIN and AIM will feature speaker-led sessions focusing on how technology can make work more connected.  More information on the “Connections Summit” will follow shortly.  Speaker submissions are open now.

Other 2018 focus areas for the NFC Forum include:

Even More Partnerships and Deepening Existing Liaison Relationships:  We are currently discussing a handful of new liaisons focused on showing how NFC can complement and enhance other technologies with combined solutions. We can’t discuss the specifics yet but hope to be able to share more of this exciting news soon.

NFC Tag Certification Program Stays Strong: We plan to follow up the successful launch of this program with a market push to increase participation. This program is the only opportunity available to manufacturers and vendors of NFC Forum-compliant tag types to certify that their chips and tags will perform as advertised for the end-user.

Retail and Payment SIG Activity Up: 2018 will be a big year for the NFC Forum’s Retail and Payment SIG. It is following up its successful customer journey infographic with a whitepaper and marketing campaign timed for early in the year.

Wireless Charging Targeted:  Following our liaison announcement with the Wireless Power Consortium, the NFC Forum is prioritizing the enhancement and development of wireless charging specifications.  We think wireless charging is a great opportunity for the NFC Forum.

And The Winner is!:  The NFC Forum’s Innovation Awards program, now in its second year, recognizes the development and deployment of innovative NFC products, services and applications. Last year we had 90 entries.  We expect to see over 100 companies competing for the NFC Forum Innovation Awards in 2018.

Thank You For Your Support

It’s hard to predict the future.  It is far easier to see the trends.  The trends we see are an upsurge in NFC Forum membership, an increase in NFC products and services being used on a daily basis worldwide and a rise in the number of organizations seeking us out for liaisons.  These are all positive trends for the NFC Forum in 2018 and beyond.

Thank you for your support in 2017.  We wish you all a joyful and peaceful holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year.

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