Smartphones have become an increasingly crucial part of many people’s lives — a combination of communications device, personal computer and digital wallet. (Which also explains why there’s been a backlash in certain circles.) As the amount of things your smartphone can do increases, so too are the bounds of NFC (or near-field communication) expanding. And the next changes coming down the metaphorical pipeline could have a big impact on what phones can do — and how they’ll be recharged.
Earlier this week, the NFC Forum revealed its roadmap for advances in technology to be implemented in the next five years. The NFC Forum listed five areas to be prioritized between now and 2028, including heightening the speed by which devices can charge wirelessly and increasing the range required for an NFC connection.
Under the roadmap, NFC wireless charging would increase from one watt to three watts; the space required for an NFC connection would also increase to “four to six times the current operating distance.” The remaining points involve modernizing device communication, expanding data related to sustainability and expanding the functionality that comes from a tap.
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As Engadget’s Mariella Moon pointed out, the increased distance has a number of promising applications, including lowering the odds of a transaction failing. Some of the points listed in the roadmap have more specific applications — the NFC Forum notes that the device modernization efforts could have an impact on point of sale transactions, for example.
In terms of when some of these features will be actualized, the announcement states that they “are currently in varying stages of development, ranging from research to market requirements to draft specifications.” It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on in the years to come.
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