The NFC Forum has added the ability to use the cloud to establish connections between two NFC devices in a new candidate version of Connection Handover, the technical specification that covers the way in which NFC devices can establish a connection using alternative carriers, such as Bluetooth or WiFi.
“The Connection Handover specification provides a powerful tool to establish a wireless connection between two NFC devices, which includes the possibility of using the IP network to transfer data to a second device connected to the internet,” Jürgen Böhler, chairman of the NFC Forum Technical Committee, explained to NFC World.
“This allows an NFC-enabled phone to have the option of using the internet connection to transfer a file to the remote device that was tapped. In this scenario, the IP addresses of the devices are exchanged to allow this type of communication.
“An example of this would be public printing from a phone at an airport. The phone has internet access via cellular and the printer has internet access via the airport infrastructure. When the phone taps the printer, the phone could be directed to a cloud-based service that could assist with the printing.”
Connection Handover Candidate Technical Specification 1.4 also “adds the capability for an NFC device to communicate the availability of, or seek, specific services to use on the alternate carriers,” the association says. “This capability makes it easier for the user to launch a specific service on an alternate carrier.”
For example, the NFC Forum explains, “when an NFC phone taps a printer, the phone can know in advance what print methods that printer supports, and can prepare to print to it.”
The new candidate specification makes use of Verb RTD 1.0, a newly adopted specification that is used to describe generic and carrier-specific supported services which can then be used by implementations of the Connection Handover 1.4 candidate specification to offer an enhanced user experience.
“The Verb Record can, for example, encode the service to trigger the printing of a document or picture that will be transferred via the Bluetooth or WLAN connection,” the association explains.
The Forum has also now adopted NFC Logical Link Control Protocol (LLCP) 1.3, a technical specification that defines a protocol to support peer-to-peer communication between two NFC-enabled devices. LLCP 1.3 was released as a candidate specification in June 2015.
“These specifications bring new levels of performance and security to NFC communications,” says Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. “The specifications also help to ensure a great user experience across the broadest range of use cases.”
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