NFC: A quick history to this point
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a term we are coming to hear more and more often. So we wanted to ensure we provided you with the best information we can to get you up to speed with and understanding NFC.
We have enlisted NFCdog to write a few articles on the latest NFC industry topics.
They star with a very brief overview of where NFC has come from and why it’s taken the time it has.
As has already been highlighted in previous posts on this blog, NFC is a short range wireless technology developed in 2004 that allows data to be exchanged between devices and more commonly items known as Tags. You would be forgiven for thinking this is a new technology, but in reality it has been around for a good 15 to 20 years having its origins in RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).
There are a number of reasons why it has taken so long to get to a point where NFC is starting to reach the mass market.
Firstly, when the first devices with NFC were launched (2006) the mobile industry focussed on the payment and ticketing use cases which logically seem a good fit for contactless. This required an ecosystem of the mobile operators, SIM vendors and payment providers to be setup properly. A lot of trials were run as well as some new standards for SIM cards being developed. This took time and during that time Handset manufacturers didn’t like to deploy technology that is either likely to change dramatically due to standards or where there potential for valid consumer use.
Secondly, if you look at the evolution in handsets since 2007, we have come a long way since the first NFC handset (Nokia 6131 NFC). Today we have bigger screens, WiFI, touch and also a mobile internet and App culture. Use cases such as mobile marketing and advertising are now far easier for consumers to understand and because addressable market has grown fast, advertisers and brands are now willing to spend advertising money online or focussed solely on mobile.
So, are we now about to see NFC emerge properly? – For 2012 it certainly looks like mobile payment is one of the priority topics within the mobile industry (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Google wallet). Also there is already an NFC Advertising trial being run in one major UK city with more likely to follow in 2012. With the launches of devices such as the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nokia Lumia 610 NFC, the amount of consumers who have the capability is set to grow substantially. its also highly rumoured that the Iphone5 will also have NFC when its launched likely later this year.
This all points to the fact that NFC as a technology is now finally about to fulfil the potential its always had as a very intuitive way for consumers to interacting with a multitude of services and devices.