NFC Forum releases recommendations for enhancing IoT user experience during device connections

The NFC Forum published Tuesday a new white paper titled ‘Improve the IoT User Experience with NFC Simple Secure Pairing,’ a helpful guide for any developer or Internet-of-Things (IoT) device manufacturer seeking to provide consumers a better user experience (UX) when connecting their IoT devices to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi services using NFC. The white paper, which is available for download without charge, was developed by the NFC Forum’s IoT Special Interest Group (SIG).

Readers of the white paper will learn how to deliver easy, quick and enjoyable user experiences for IoT devices using NFC’s valuable connection handover capability, by which the simple, secure, one-touch setup of NFC can be combined with the high-speed, longer-distance communication of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by key mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. 

The Forum’s global member companies are currently developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery and device capability. Only member companies can participate in the Forum’s certification program of NFC devices, readers and tags.

NFC’s connection handover function is ideal in situations where the amount of data to be transferred is too large to be transmitted over NFC during the time of a touch or when data is to be streamed for a longer time. For example, connection handover can enable Bluetooth audio streaming between a smartphone and a speaker or headset, a streaming session between a smartphone and a TV or the transfer of a photo between a digital camera and a smartphone over Wi-Fi.

The white paper’s recommendations show how to configure an NFC implementation to establish a connection or to “hand over” a connection so as to deliver a consistent and pleasant user experience. The paper supplies three types of recommendations: General Recommendations related to the NFC touchpoint; Simple Secure Pairing Recommendations; and recommendations that are specific to Bluetooth use. 

Targeted use cases highlighted in the white paper include connection to an established network; audio or video streaming (including services such as Miracast); image or file transfer; connection to wearables and medical sensors (confidential data transfer) and connection of an IoT device to a network.

“Because NFC is standard equipment on smartphones worldwide, it is in a unique position to enhance the value and performance of consumer electronic devices that form an increasingly important part of the IoT, from headphones and other accessories to smart home systems, appliances and game consoles,” said Koichi Tagawa, chairman, NFC Forum. “NFC’s growing global deployment allows for wide interoperability and its ease of use makes NFC a natural choice when IoT device manufacturers want to streamline and improve the UX of an IoT device.”

IoT Innovator Newsletter

Get the latest updates and industry news in your inbox! Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.