The industry group leading the way for Near Field Communications has released initial specifications to help make interoperable NFC applications and devices a reality. The specs cover data formats for communications between devices and/or tags for plain text messages and Internet-referencing messages. Interested parties can download the specs at no cost via the forum.
NFC Forum Issues Its First Four Specifications
WAKEFIELD, Mass., USA – August 14, 2006 – The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association advancing the use of near field communication (NFC) technology, today announced the publication of its first four specifications. The specifications are available to the public for download at no charge from the NFC Forum Web site.
NFC technology is a short-range, standards-based wireless connectivity technology. It allows consumers to perform safe contactless transactions, access digital content and connect electronic devices with a single touch. For example, consumers with NFC-enabled mobile phones can leave their wallets at home and use their phones to make contactless financial transactions, enjoy electronic access to transportation networks or touch a Smart Poster to receive digital content.
The new specifications make it possible for any manufacturer to create NFC-Forum-compliant devices that will be interoperable with other manufacturers’ devices and compatible with the NFC-Forum-compliant offerings of service providers, ensuring successful communication between devices and tags.
The four specifications now available are:
- NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) Technical Specification (specifies a common data format for NFC Forum-compliant devices and NFC Forum-compliant tags)
- NFC Record Type Definition (RTD) Technical Specification (specifies standard record types used in messages between two NFC Forum-compliant devices or between NFC Forum-compliant devices and tags)
- NFC Text RTD Technical Specification (for records containing plain text that can be read by NFC-enabled devices)
- NFC URI RTD Technical Specification (for elements that refer to an Internet resource that can be read by NFC-enabled devices)
“The NFC Forum is committed to advancing the use of and delivering on the promise of the NFC technology, and the need for standard specifications is one of the critical factors in achieving this,” said Christophe Duverne, Chairman, NFC Forum. “Issuing the first four specifications signifies a huge step forward in creating the framework that is necessary to make NFC applications a reality and put NFC capabilities in the hands of consumers around the world.”
In June of this year, the NFC Forum unveiled its modular NFC device architecture and protocols for interoperable data exchange, device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability. Additional specifications are still in development. A schematic diagram showing the basic elements of the NFC Forum technology architecture is available, along with other materials, on the NFC Forum’s Web site at http://www.nfc-forum.org/news.
The Forum also announced the initial set of tag formats that all NFC Forum-compliant devices must support. Tags are integrated circuits that store data that can be read by NFC-enabled devices. The Forum’s selected tags are based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14443 Type A and B standards and Sony’s FeliCa.
More about the NFC Forum’s initial specifications
NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) The NDEF specification describes a common data exchange format for NFC Forum-compliant devices and NFC Forum-compliant tags. It also contains the rules for constructing a valid NDEF message as an ordered and unbroken collection of NDEF records. Further, it defines the mechanism for specifying the types of application data encapsulated in NDEF records.
NFC Record Type Definition (RTD)
To help ensure interoperability of NFC technology in a broad variety of devices, the RTD provides guidelines for specifying well-known record types for inclusion in NDEF messages exchanged between NFC Forum-compliant devices, and between NFC Forum-compliant devices and tags.
NFC Text Record Type Description (Text RTD)
The Text RTD defines a record format for plain text data, which can be used for free-form text descriptions of other objects on a tag. The Text RTD is a general-purpose text field to add metadata to things such as URIs, and it can be used where there is not much space. The Text RTD will also work well for non-Western languages, as it includes language information for localization purposes.
NFC URI Record Type Description (URI RTD)
The URI RTD describes a record to be used with the NDEF to retrieve a URI stored in an NFC Forum-compliant tag or to transport a URI from one NFC device to another. The URI RTD also provides a way to store URIs inside other NFC elements, such as on Smart Posters.
About Near Field Communication Technology
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions among electronic devices, allowing consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect devices with a single touch. NFC also simplifies setup of longer-range wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology evolved from a combination of contactless identification and interconnection technologies. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters. The underlying layers of NFC technology are ISO, ECMA, and ETSI standards. NFC technology is supported by the leading mobile device, infrastructure and technology manufacturers and by all major payment providers, and it is compatible with millions of contactless cards already in use worldwide.
About the NFC Forum
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 80 global member companies currently are 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: HP, MasterCard International, Microsoft Corp., Nokia, NEC, Panasonic, Renesas Technology, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung, Sony Corporation, Texas Instruments and Visa International.
Explore more developments dealing with the implementation of Near Field Communications, a short-range wireless technology that promises to revolutionize contactless identification, payment, access, and more. Click to visit NFCNews.