IoT Insider Editor Kristian McCann speaks with Mike McCamon, Executive Director, NFC Forum, on how the short-range wireless communication technology, most commonly seen with card or phone payments, could go on to upskill IoT with its further integration.
McCamon has headed up a number of organisations, from Bluetooth SIG to Sprint (T-Mobile), and knows a lot about connectivity and communications. His new role, however, as Executive Director at NFC Forum has him seen him understand how the short-range wireless communication technology can lend itself to IoT devices and upskill IoT as a whole.
“When you think of NFC, you think of paying with your credit card, or swiping your key for a hotel room,” McCamon said. “Yet, the implementation for IoT devices is clear, especially ones that run on low power.”
NFC enables secure data exchange and communication within a few centimetres of proximity. It is commonly utilised for sharing data like contact information and photos, facilitating contactless payments, enabling access control systems, and powering smartphones and wearables. Yet the benefit, McCamon highlights, is the use of NFC to harvest power from the main terminal and not the thing interacting with it to. This, McCamon highlights, is where the applications within IoT devices can benefit – for instance, using a wearable to open a locked door on a mains-connected smart home instead of drawing power from the device.
Yet, it’s not just this power harvesting that makes NFC interesting to IoT devices. “We have found an interesting space, around how we can use wireless charging in smaller devices,” says McCamon. “These things don’t need 5W of power to charge, so the ideas we have come up with, allows us to sit at a lower power place than Qi and provide an interesting solution for organisations building IoT devices.”
NFC’s ability to charge IoT devices to wirelessly also reduces the need for frequent battery replacements or wired charging, extending its operational lifespan and reducing maintenance efforts. This simplified process also streamlines their deployment in remote or hard-to-reach locations, making them more self-sustaining and cost-effective in various applications, such as smart sensors, environmental monitoring, and industrial automation.
In the podcast, McCamon goes on to discuss other elements NFC could bring IoT devices, like the difference between NFC and Qi wireless protocols, their pros, cons and why he believes NFC is more suited to IoT devices.
Could NFC integration upgrade IoT devices? – IoT Unplugged
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