NFC Leads in Mobile Payments and More
Making "Connecting everything®" a Reality
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is enabling a new world of convenient and powerful functionality for mobile users, essentially turning a smartphone into a secure, mobile wallet. But NFC is more than a secure payment standard - its promise lies in enabling quick and simple transactions, the convenient exchange of content from device to device, and the secure connection of electronic and multimedia devices by simply touching them together. Imagine pairing your smartphone to your Bluetooth headset with a mere tap...that's NFC in action.
NFC's initial functionality may be in facilitating secure transactions but Broadcom recognizes its big picture application holds even greater potential. Broadcom's NFC product portfolio fuels the array of promising applications - and delivers the sophisticated performance and extreme low power necessary to accelerate widespread adoption.
Prashant Mantha, Broadcom Blog Squad member, interviews Ron Wong, Broadcom's associate product line director for Bluetooth in the Mobile & Wireless Group, who demonstrates how NFC--coupled with a Wi-Fi connected display and a Bluetooth-enabled remote, headset and gaming controller--brings easy pairing to in-home entertainment systems.
What's Different About NFC
Beyond enabling mobile payments, NFC is focused on the secure and intentional transfer of information. Like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, NFC technology provides a way to connect to other connected devices. See how it's different than other connectivity solutions:
- NFC is intuitive, low-power and based on very close proximity.
- Its encrypted interface requires "intentional" interaction of less than 2 centimeters in order to work - your device must nearly touch its target or actually tap it to complete the transfer.
- NFC technology not only expands the usefulness of smartphones, but also encourages a range of new applications driven by the ability to connect and enable services with a touch or extremely close pass of the phone.
- While NFC won't be used to actually stream content, it will create secure connections so that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be used more readily.
ABI Research estimates that the number of phones with NFC will double in 2012, from an estimated 35 million shipped in 2011. Learn More
Short-Range Wireless Interaction Between Devices
Simplifying connectivity is NFC's hidden strength and makes this a game-changing technology. NFC complements other wireless technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi by offering a quick and easy method to establish a wireless connection. Instead of paging through menus and manually plugging in pairing keys or passwords, a quick "tap" of two NFC-enabled devices completes a secure Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection instantly.
The deliberateness of NFC gives this technology even greater potential than the simple exchange of money. Say, for example, you're streaming the latest episode of your favorite singing competition on your NFC-enabled smartphone. For a better audio experience, you grab your NFC-enabled Bluetooth headphones and tap them to your phone, triggering a Bluetooth connection that diverts the sound to your headphones. Next, you decide the program would be better viewed on your HDTV, so you pick up your NFC-enabled remote and tap it with your phone. Now a Wi-Fi Direct connection is triggered and your show streams seamlessly in high-def from your smartphone to your HDTV. Your phone is free to perform other tasks such as texting or sharing via social media, all while simultaneously streaming your program to your television. If you need to head out before the show ends, simply tap your smartphone to the remote again and the video jumps back to your mobile device.
Juniper Research predicts NFC mobile payments will drive contactless transactions to reach nearly $50 billion worldwide by 2014. Learn More
Unprecedented Functionality - Simple and Secure
As a pioneer in wireless technologies, Broadcom sees a future in which NFC is as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are today. In smartphones and throughout the broad spectrum of electronic devices, Broadcom's commitment to NFC technology is focused on enabling new features, devices and applications. Indeed, the possibilities for NFC-enabled connectivity are nearly limitless. NFC can be used to 'fatten' your mobile wallet with items like a driver's license, employee badge, business card, coupons, loyalty tags, photos and more, stored digitally and securely. The sophisticated multimedia capabilities offered by today's smartphones - playing games, listening to music, watching movies and more - are poised for bigger things fueled by NFC. Marketers are also beginning to see dramatic value in NFC to promote products and services. Consider a big, glossy poster advertising the latest blockbuster featuring your favorite star - while you are waiting outside the theater, tap your smartphone for an exclusive sneak peek, movie times or a link to buy tickets.
While mobile payment capabilities were the earliest catalyst for NFC adoption, new and future NFC-enabled applications are poised to create a sea change in widespread implementation. Recognizing these vast possibilities is in Broadcom's DNA; the company is furthering NFC adoption with sophisticated solutions that readily advance its potential to connect everything.