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Wearable revolution: NFC adds more electronics to daily life, part 4

Figure 1. A tag inserted in a garment is a very good solution to provide the customer with a lot of information about the object itself: the information, being available on a smartphone or a tablet by mean of a NFC communication setup, can be stored and elaborated by the customer, making him/her able to take a decision to buy or not of the object. (Source: SERITAG)

Near Field Communication (NFC) has the potential to store information of an object that has a tag. With NFC the object can share information and inform a requestor about its characteristics. An example case of a smart tag attached to garments let that the customer verify if the object suits his or her needs (Figure 1). NFC has been built into iPhones starting with iPhone 6, though you need an app to use it. Samsung phones have had NFC since Galaxy S5.

Today divide the use of NFC tags within products into three sections – product identification, production information and product authentication. While it’s quite possible for an NFC tag to do all three at the same time, each serves a unique function. Product identification is about identifying a specific, perhaps unique, object which might look very similar or identical to something else. Product information is about allowing access to information about a product which might be shared across others. NFC product information examples: NFC tags embedded into the label of a garment can provide washing or other care instructions. Additionally, it can give information on the source of the fabrics, where the garment was made and perhaps even who made it. It could also contain information allowing the user to re-order the same garment or find similar or accompanying garments. An NFC tag on a microwave could provide the latest user information or recipe ideas. It could allow the download of a user manual or videos to show how to use advanced features. Why NFC tags work for product information: It’s about user experience, ease of tag integration and importantly the transfer of useful information. A garment label can only contain so much information. By making that garment label ‘smart’, there’s an ability to provide not just more information but constantly changing and up to date information.” (Source: SERITAG)

STMicroelectronics is developing a lot of NFC based ICs to enhance this interesting technology (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The NFC technology holds promises to become massively utilized to store a lot of information of commercial objects for sell in an unprecedented smart way. (Source: ST Blog)

The new mobile operating system from Apple iOS 13 is bringing extended support for NFC Type-5 tags (ISO 15693) to applications developers. During the company’s last Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), attendees got a talk highlighting the updates to Core NFC, the framework that handles the connection and interactions with a tag. Developers can now read and write data in the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) as well as use custom commands, among many other things. Engineers using our ST25T and ST25D tags already have access to our massive open online courses to help them write applications faster , and we even offer the source code of our iOS and Android apps. We now wanted to look at the new features of Core NFC that Apple made public last June to prepare for the release of the final version of iOS 13 this fall.” (Source: ST Blog)

Have you ever checked the characteristics of a shirt or a pair of trousers by a smart NFC tag inserted in it? Have you designed any product that use NFC?

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1 comment on “Wearable revolution: NFC adds more electronics to daily life, part 4

  1. gweinreb
    November 2, 2019

    I think a big NFC application would be to connect 110/220VAC appliances to a wired network inside a building via NFC between antenna embedded in 110/220VAC power plug and antenna embedded in power socket. This would support 99.999% reliability (much more than wireless) and support appliance microprocessor sleep while listening (no DSP pulling signal out of noise and burning power). We are working on this. For details, see “Section 3.13.6, Develop Near-Field Communication between Socket and Corded Device” in the following document:

    R&D Plan to Develop Low-Carbon Next-Generation
    Building Automation and Control Systems & Standards

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