The NFC Forum said that it would create a certification program for near-field communication tags. Here, people use NFC cards to pay for rides on the London subway. (Image courtesy of Tom Page, Creative Commons).
An industry organization has announced plans to offer a certification program for tags using near-field communication chips, which can share short, secretive messages with compatible smartphones and chip readers.
The NFC Forum said last week that it would add a certification program for products using the tags, ranging from clothing tags and airplane luggage stickers to movie posters and subway tickets. The certification will verify that the chips conform to the NFC standard, which lets devices swap information over a distance smaller than 4 centimeters.
Koichi Tagawa, the NFC Forum’s chairman, said in a statement that the program would “ensure that all NFC tag technologies deliver a consistent, global connectivity experience across all applications and environments.”
Near-field communication tags are microchips equipped with antennas that store information and share it using encryption. It is the same technology that allows a person to pay for groceries using services like Android Pay and Apple Pay. Simply hold your smartphone against a payment terminal and it works like a credit card.
The plan to start the certification program comes after the NFC Forum unveiled new specifications for near-field communication tags. The new instructions are meant to make it easier for near-field communication devices, like smartphones, to interact with older chips inside tags. They are being reviewed by the NFC Forum’s members, which include Apple, Google, Intel, NXP Semiconductors, and Visa, among others.