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NFC Forum Publishes 2017 Technical Specification Release

Twenty One NFC Specifications Advance Mobile Device Interoperability, Public Transport Applications and NFC Tags

The NFC Forum has announced the completion, publication and availability of its 2017 Technical Specification Release. The 2017 Technical Specifications Release comprises 21 new or updated near field communication (NFC) technical specifications. The specifications feature the latest NFC technology and usability upgrades that significantly impact and advance functionality in a number of key areas for consumers and businesses, including mobile device interoperability, public transportation applications and the use of NFC Tags with IoT, retail, packaging, automotive, public transportation, and other applications.

The 2017 technical specifications are available from the NFC Forum website. The NFC Forum has nearly 150 member organizations and is the world’s leading standards and advocacy association for NFC technology.  

“The 2017 Technical Specification Release greatly advances the features and functionality of NFC technology, empowering hardware and software companies to create new products, services and solutions for the Internet of Things, public transportation, automotive and retail industries,” said Jürgen Böhler, chairman, NFC Forum Technical Committee. “This technical specification release bundles the full set of NFC Forum Technical Specifications to ensure consistent support for new features across all NFC Forum specifications. Special thanks to the NFC Forum’s Technical Committee and Special Interest Groups for their efforts in developing and providing market requirements for the new and updated specifications.”

The NFC Forum Technical Committee groups all Technical Specification versions into a single release to make clear the correct version to use when one specification references another. Highlights of the 2017 Technical Specification Release include: 

The Analog Specification ensures full interoperability of NFC Forum devices with existing RF readers and legacy cards implemented according ISO/IEC 14443 or ISO/IEC 18092 specifications. These improvements are essential for contactless ticketing solutions on mobile devices which typically use a contactless infrastructure based on ISO/IEC 14443 or ISO/IEC 18092. Examples include offering tickets for public transportation on mobile phones and allowing verification of the actual loaded value on a contactless ticket cards.

Requirements for NFC Tags allow verification of the correct implementation of NFC Forum Tags. Many of the specifications are supported in the recently launched NFC Forum Tag Certification program. The NFC Forum Tags can be used by service providers for many different uses cases such as providing transportation schedule information at bus stops; to initiate a phone call or to provide more product information in a store. 

The Extended NFC Controller Interface Technical Specification Version 2.0 supports finer routing decisions to ensure that legacy RF applications (e.g., ticketing for public transport) installed on mobile phones are transferred to the right app or secure element. It reduces the need for users having different contactless services installed on the mobile phone to enable a specific public transport ticket application before use. This specification also defines how NFC Forum Tags can be emulated by the NFC Controller even when the mobile phone is switched off. It allows for the use of a contactless ticket service or a boarding pass stored on the mobile phone when the device is switched off.

The Logical Link Control Protocol (LLCP) Specification Version 1.3 defines the automatic establishment of a secured peer-to-peer communication when both NFC Forum devices have implemented this LLCP version. This specification prevents the risk of contact data being intercepted when people exchange their contact information by tapping their mobile phones together.

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. The Forum’s global member companies are currently developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability. 

The NFC Forum’s Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: Apple, Dai Nippon Printing, Google, Intel, MasterCard Worldwide, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Visa.