By Koichi Tagawa, November 20, 2013

Since the NFC Forum was founded in 2004, our work has been largely focused on developing technical specifications that harmonize industry and wireless standards to ensure a robust, versatile, and interoperable technology.  Today, while that work continues, we’re concurrently devoting more time to facilitating implementation opportunities for NFC in target markets.

For example, last summer we published the Personal Health Device Communication (PHDC) technical specification, which makes it easier for solutions developers and device manufacturers to build NFC solutions for home health monitoring devices, such as wireless blood pressure monitors and weighing scales.  We will likely produce more such targeted specifications in the future.

One of the best ways to jump-start NFC in target markets is to work with other industry associations.  The work on PHDC, for example, was greatly assisted by our liaison partners at Continua Health Alliance.  Similarly, at our October member meeting in Prague, we met with a representative from EMVCo to discuss ongoing alignment between our two organizations.  And just a few weeks ago, the NFC Forum and the International Air Travel Association (IATA) published “The NFC Reference Guide for Air Travel”, a comprehensive examination of how NFC technology can improve the experience of air travel — along with the relevant implementation considerations.  The 58-page guide is the result of 18 months of diligent work from the NFC Forum Air Transport Task Force and their peers at IATA, and serves as a model for future implementation guides for other vertical markets and use cases.

Just last week, we announced a formal liaison agreement with Bluetooth® SIG.  It will enable our two organizations to continue to ensure that NFC and Bluetooth work together to provide the best possible experience for people using a wide range of consumer electronics and other Bluetooth and NFC-enabled devices.

In spite of these partnerships, we need more NFC services.  The number and variety of NFC solutions continue to grow, but commercial NFC services for consumers still remain relatively scarce.  Just as tablet users who become used to touchscreen interfaces often get frustrated when they go back to PC menus and mouse clicks, consumers who become accustomed to NFC’s intuitive touch-and-go interface want to be able to perform more and more actions with a quick tap of their devices. Solutions providers and application developers across industries need to be ready to satisfy that need.

We will continue to actively pursue opportunities to open new doors, provide expert advice, and help smooth the implementation path for industries and markets seeking to tap into the many benefits of NFC.

The more we team up to support target markets, the more consumers will get in touch with NFC’s far-reaching impact.