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First NFC specs now available

Posted: 17 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Near Field Communication? NFC Forum?

The Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum recently announced the publication of its first four specifications. According to the non-profit industry association, the new specifications make it possible for any manufacturer to create NFC-Forum-compliant devices that will be interoperable with other manufacturers' devices and compatible with the NFC-Forum-compliant offerings of service providers, ensuring successful communication between devices and tags.

"Issuing the first four specifications signifies a huge step forward in creating the framework that is necessary to make NFC applications a reality and put NFC capabilities in the hands of consumers around the world," said NFC Forum Chairman Christophe Duverne in a statement.

The four specifications now available are NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) Technical Specification, NFC Record Type Definition (RTD) Technical Specification, NFC Text RTD Technical Specification and NFC URI RTD Technical Specification.

The NDEF specification describes a common data exchange format for NFC Forum-compliant devices and NFC Forum-compliant tags. It contains the rules for constructing a valid NDEF message as an ordered and unbroken collection of NDEF records. Additionally, it defines the mechanism for specifying the types of application data encapsulated in NDEF records.

The second specificationRTD, provides guidelines for specifying well-known record types for inclusion in NDEF messages exchanged between NFC Forum-compliant devices, and between NFC Forum-compliant devices and tags.

The Text RTD defines a record format for plain text data, which can be used for free-form text descriptions of other objects on a tag. This specification is a general-purpose text field to add metadata to things such as URIs, and it can be used where there is not much space. The Text RTD will also work well for non-Western languages, as it includes language information for localization purposes.

Lastly, the URI RTD describes a record to be used with the NDEF to retrieve a URI stored in an NFC Forum-compliant tag or to transport a URI from one NFC device to another. The URI RTD also provides a way to store URIs inside other NFC elements.

Short-range wireless technology
NFC is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions among electronic devices, allowing consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect devices with a single touch. This technology operates in the 13.56MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters. The underlying layers of NFC technology are ISO, ECMA and ETSI standards.

A schematic diagram showing the basic elements of the NFC Forum technology architecture is available on NFC Forum's website.

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