Wireless communication is a big enabler of the IoT concept – easing and lowering the cost of infrastructure as well of lowering costs. The complexity here is related to the multiple standards and protocols that make up wireless communication. Each wireless technology ― BLE Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee, RF4CE and Wi-Fi, NFC Near Field Communication — is suited for different use cases, devices and applications, differing as they do in bandwidth, read range, security, protocol and cost.
NFC was initially targeted at the payments market, but the penetration in mobile devices is creating the all-important infrastructure piece for a number or use cases. However, the future growth will also be driven primarily by enabling NFC connectivity in an easy and cost-effective way in all devices. Adding NFC is as easy and natural as other interfaces – USB or UART or SPI or I2C – in the wired world in embedded devices.
Let me give you some examples of NFC making connectivity easy. Think of printers and cameras equipped with NFC to simplify Wi-Fi handover or Bluetooth pairing, which enables photographs or documents to be transferred to and from a smartphone or tablet. Or think about the audio world where wireless Bluetooth speakers or headsets can be more easily paired with smartphones and each other using NFC – just by touching them to each other/ a smartphone (this is even more convenient when you see that speakers and headsets don’t have a large display/keypad if any).