The NFC Forum, the global standards and advocacy association for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, announced on Tuesday a Wireless Charging Candidate Technical Specification (WLC) that makes it possible to wirelessly charge NFC-enabled devices at a power transfer rate of up to one watt.
The WLC enables a single antenna in the NFC-enabled device to manage both communications and charging. This solution makes it easier and more convenient to charge low-power IoT devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, headsets and other consumer devices.
This NFC specification uses the 13.56 MHz base frequency and leverages the NFC communication link to control the power transfer. NFC technology is unique in that it allows the transfer of power to an NFC tag to enable communication by providing a constant carrier signal. The WLC specification extends this communication functionality of NFC technology to enable wireless charging.
The WLC specification ensures a safe charging process between two NFC-enabled devices in either static or negotiated modes. Static mode uses standard radio frequency (RF) field strength and provides a consistent power level. Negotiated mode uses a higher RF field supporting four power transfer classes of 250, 500, 750 and 1000 milliwatts.
The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading 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.
The WLC was published as a candidate specification allowing the industry to review the document before this specification is validated by the NFC Forum.
From wearables to smart appliances, NFC’s tap and go functionality helps consumers simplify device operation, enabling multiple devices to easily connect and to work together. As a companion technology to Bluetooth, NFC has emerged as a powerful tool to complement and enhance the consumer experience.
By tapping an NFC-enabled mobile device to NFC-enabled Bluetooth device, such as a speaker, printer, remote control or wearable device. In a flash, the devices will be automatically paired, and you can play music, send documents to print, or transfer data. The intuitive interface is powered by standardized NFC Connection Handover technology, which can be implemented quickly and easily. Products that implement NFC Connection Handover technology can improve the user experience and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
“The NFC Forum’s Wireless Charging Candidate Technical Specification allows for wireless charging of small battery-powered devices like those found in many IoT devices,” said Paula Hunter, executive director, NFC Forum. “Our approach can help avoid the need for a separate wireless charging unit for small devices if the device includes an NFC communication interface. For example, a Bluetooth headset which includes NFC technology for pairing could also use the NFC interface for wireless charging. In this case, the NFC antenna is used to exchange the pairing information and to transfer power.”