NFC Latest Trends 2021: 7 NFC Technology Trends to Watch Out for!
Although NFC is widely used in peer-to-peer payment systems and for data transfer, NFC has evolved dramatically over the years. Read this blog post to learn about the latest trends of NFC technology.
Last Updated:  December 28, 2020
Although Near Field Communication or NFC was founded in the mid-2000s, jointly by Philips and Sony, the technology has evolved over the years for diverse use-cases.
With 3.4 billion active smartphones in the world today, smartphone penetration is at an all-time high. There are 2 billion NFC-enabled devices, most of the phones. “In other words,” writes NFC Forum, “20%+ of the world’s population have access to NFC.”
According to ABI Research, when observed on a broader scale, there will be 1.6 billion NFC-enabled devices by 2024.
Market Research Future (MRFR)’s analysis unravels that the global NFC market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 17% over the evaluation period. The market size, in terms of revenue, is predicted to reach USD 30 Bn by 2023.
A myriad of industry verticals dominated NFC in the recent past due to its increased demand for contactless and safe technology in the wake of the pandemic. So, what are the latest NFC trends of 2021?
Xiaomi Mi Band 5, a fitness band – similar to FitBit, has rolled out several configurations and key features, including NFC connectivity.
The Chinese giant has taken to its official Mi Band Weibo account to share a host of key features about its latest Mi Band 5. The post also confirms that the Mi Band 5 will support NFC-based payments for seamless transactions through the wearable band.
The inclusion of NFC in the band will ease users and prevent them from whipping out their smartphones or card to complete their payment.
Not just Xiaomi, Silicon Craft Technology PLC (SICT) has also launched an NFC-wearable band to the Department of Disease Control to help track COVID-19 patients and those in self-quarantine.
NFC technology enables the patient’s health status and helps update about the treatment process right from registration to completion.
The wearable NFC bands are anticipated to improve and facilitate the public health service for all parties involved and curb the virus’s spread.
Charging earbuds is going to get a lot easier with wireless charging with the aid of NFC technology following the release of upgraded specifications for NFC technology.
The NFC Forum announced that the adoption of the latest standards will permit the wireless charging of small battery-powered consumer devices for NFC-capable devices.
The Board of Directors at the NFC Forum approved and adopted the Wireless Charging Specifications (WLC) that makes it possible to wirelessly charge NFC-enabled devices at a transfer rate of up to one watt.
This is anticipated to improve the user experience for two billion consumers and businesses using smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices.
According to NFC Forum Chairman Koichi Tagawa, “NFC wireless charging is truly transformative because it changes the way we design and interact with small, battery-powered devices as the elimination of plugs and cords enables the creation of smaller, hermetically-sealed devices.”
Say goodbye to misplaced keys with Apple’s new digital car feature!
Apple latest iOS 14 enables its users to add a digital car key to their iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple Wallet to wirelessly unlock and start cars. The latest feature will work in conjunction with NFC, Apple says.
The first car to support the NFC-enabled digital car keys will be the new 2021 BMW 5 Series, and Apple says it is working on an industry-wide standard that would use its new U1 ultra wideband chip.
With the digital cars in Wallet, users can use their iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock their cars and start it by placing their devices in specific locations like their car doors.
Apple users with iPhone SE (2nd generation) and above with iOS 13,6 or above can use this feature.
Once the user pairs their iPhone or Apple Watch with a car that supports the feature, the device will not ask the user to confirm their identity, but they can turn it off for additional security.
Apple says the digital car keys work even with no internet connection, since it works with NFC technology.
#5 Chrome 81 releases updated NFC for connectivity
NFC technology has transformed itself into the most versatile technology in the market.
Similar to digital car keys, NFC can also be used to unlock homes.
Smart locks, or digital locks have active NFC chips inside of them. Since NFC uses very little energy, a single replaceable battery can be used for long periods of time.
Joining the bandwagon of smart locks is Netatmo, naming the smart home gear as Netatmo Smart Door Lock and Keys. This smart lock is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit standard, and it ships with three physical keys that use NFC to securely unlock the door when inserted into the lock.
But the key is not a traditional key. It is an NFC badge shaped like a key, which can be used to program the lock to authorize the key or not. For instance, if the key is lost, the user can deactivate it in the Netatmo mobile app. The same key can be used for unlocking multiple doors.
If a user is not equipped with the pre-paired keys, the user can still unlock the door via the Netatmo Security App, the same app that manages Netatmos cameras and smart smoke alarm.
A user can also add additional NFC keys to the lock, or to deactivate lost and stolen keys through the Security App.
As technology evolves constantly, hacking into devices also becomes simpler for fraudsters. The latest tactic is synthetic identity fraud.
According to McKinsey, synthetic identity fraud is the fastest growing type of financial fraud.
What is synthetic identity fraud?
Synthetic identity fraud is a type of fraud on which a criminal combines real and fake information to create a new identity. The original information used in this theft is usually stolen.
This information is often used to open fraudulent accounts and fraudulent purchases.
Traditional methods such as passwords and knowledge-based authentication are no longer adequate to fend off 21st-century fraudsters.
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is the latest tool in preventing synthetic identity fraud, helping users to authenticate identities quicker, more securely and reliably.
Airports use this technology as a part of their border control process in place of in-person passport checks. Travelers can scan their e-Passports, have their photographs taken, and the two are compared for a match.
Users simply scan the NFC-enabled ID document and take a photo of themselves, and their biographical information is unlocked from the ID chip.
Since NFC technology can unerringly and securely obtain biographical and biometric information from an ID, hackers would not be able to duplicate their information as it would conflict with their chosen ID and image.
Future of NFC: What does it hold?
Although NFC is widely used in peer-to-peer payment systems and data transfer apps, NFC has a wide range of applications that can make anybody’s life easier.
According to NFC Forum, the next 15 years will be equally transformative for billions of people that use NFC technology daily.
Some of the key future themes for the NFC Forum include –
Allowing an analogous and seamless use of various form factors and standards
Ensuring backward compatibility with the existing Forum specifications
Amplifying interoperability by relying on standardized technologies
Supporting scalable security based on the application or a fixed level defined by the NFC Forum
This will ensure that the tap and go paradigm will be enhanced to deliver increased opportunities for the user and support industry efforts to deliver higher data rates and maintain a secure touch paradigm.
With NFC technology penetrating most industry verticals, its demand will only increase in the coming years.
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