Tap-to-pay services like Apple Pay may soon become obsolete to tap part in the work. That’s because NFC, the technology that allows you to pay in stores by touching your phone to a payment terminal, will gain new capabilities over the next two to five years, such as greater communication range, more powerful wireless charging for small devices like earbuds and more (through android authority).
NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication, is in thousands of devices today, ranging from smartphones to figurines that enhance video games. Now the body that decides how to standardize the technology, the NFC Forum, outlines the main areas that will advance NFC technology through 2028. The Forum is made up of hundreds of companies, including Apple, Google, Huawei, Sony, NXP, and Qualcomm.
One of the friction points of using NFC technology is its incredibly short range. For a successful NFC connection, the devices need to be within 5mm of each other – which is short enough to make “contactless payments” a misnomer. The NFC forum wants to stretch that “four to six times” further, making it more like 30mm (or 1.18 inches).
With the extra distance (and power), people taking public transportation in places like New York City could more easily wave their handbags at terminals instead of reaching for their phones. And merchants don’t have to emphasize as much that customers wander around payment terminals with their smartphones in search of the precise point of connection.
Standards-based wireless charging of individual earbuds? Maybe!
The NFC forum also wants to increase the wireless charging power from the 1W currently to a more usable 3W. While that’s far less than the Qi standard’s maximum 15W, it’s enough for the Forum to boast that “the change will bring wireless power and charging to new and smaller form factors, disrupt industrial design and open up new markets.” will define.” So standards-based wireless charging of individual earbuds? Maybe!
The roadmap includes changes intended to make transactions easier at the point of sale as well. Apple enabled a Tap to Pay API last year that allows developers to turn iPhones into payment terminals. Future NFC standards aim to make this functionality native so that businesses and individuals can receive payments anywhere.
In addition, the NFC forum wants to add a “multi-function tap” that can perform various actions with just one tap, such as giving all your crew’s tickets access to a concert with just one tap instead of swiping to the next one by one. And NFC is planning a feature that can act as an information droplet on the device it’s connected to, specifically to share its composition for easier recycling instructions.
The NFC Forum will present its development roadmap during a public webinar on June 27.