The NFC Forum has announced the release of its 16th specification, the Simple NDEF Exchange Protocol (SNEP) for sending or receiving messages between two NFC-enabled devices.
The free to download SNEP is an extension of the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF). Previously, NDEF was applicable only to NFC tags in reader/writer mode. Now, SNEP enables the use of the openly standardized NDEF in peer-to-peer mode, allowing for seamless interchange of data.
“Application developers no longer need to concern themselves with how their NDEF data gets transferred between NFC-enabled devices,” said the NFC Forum in a release. “This capability is similar to the way that NFC Forum Tag Type specifications encapsulate the differences between communication layers. By providing this capability, the SNEP specification makes the difference between reader-writer and peer-to-peer operation modes disappear – a major step towards global interoperability of NFC applications.”
According to the NFC Forum, potential applications for NFC technology developed with the new SNEP specification may include sending business card information between NFC devices via peer-to-peer connection, or retrieving and storing NFC tag information for review at a later time.
In the latter case, a user could skim the info off of a smart movie poster onto an NFC-enabled phone while just passing by. Back home, the user could then display the movie information on a TV and navigate to the films’ web pages, simply by tapping the phone to an NFC-enabled TV remote control.
SNEP is a request/response protocol that makes use of the NFC Logical Link Control Protocol (LLCP) connection-oriented transport mode for data exchange. A SNEP client application sends a request to a SNEP server application to either retrieve data from the server with a GET method or push data to the server using the PUT method. The protocol handles segmentation and reassembly of large messages as well as early cancellation of transfers that would exhaust receiving capabilities.
Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum, comments: “By extending NDEF to peer-to-peer communications, our SNEP specification adds to the usability of NFC technology and broadens its possibilities, enabling enterprises to offer new, creative, and appealing applications to businesses and consumers.”