NFC enabled IoT applications 23. June 2021    |    IoT

Brendan O’Brien once said:

“If you think that the internet has changed your life, think again. The
Internet of Things is about to change it all over again!”. And boy he wasn’t wrong! From consumer
goods to industrial 4.0, from self-driving vehicles to entire smart home ecosystems – nowadays
everything can be connected to the Internet of Things. What does this have to do with NFC, you may
ask? Lets explore this.

NFC is already adopted in the mobile arena: there will be 1.5 billion NFC-enabled mobile devices
shipped per year by 2025, according to ABI Research from 2020. When looking at IoT devices the
numbers are even more exciting: 20 billion IoT enabled devices were predicted to be in use by the
end of 2020, and by 2030 this number will reach half a trillion devices. ABI Research predicts by end
of 2021 6,925 billion devices shipped will be NFC-enabled.

Phil Sealy, research director at ABI Research said “The pandemic has created a surge in NFC usage,”.
“NFC use in payment scenarios pre-Covid-19 was high but, post-Covid-19, we predict that NFC will be
extended to other use cases as consumers are showing an increasing reliance on the technology.”

What are the applications that drive these numbers and the growth?

There are so many IoT applications, we wouldn’t have enough time and space to tell you about each
and every one of them. In this blogpost we will cover the NFC enabled IoT applications where we see
highest potential for further development and growth of NFC features.

Authentication and access control

From passport control kiosks to consumer goods, from gaming consoles to check-in counters, from
printers in your office to manufacturing automation – NFC is an inseparable part of our experience
when using these devices. But what value does NFC bring to those applications? It identifies
documents, authenticates replacement parts, allows for fast pairing and easier access to
information, identifies users, increases automation and drives personalisation, and so much more.

Like Phillips uses NFC to authenticate its toothbrush sets, in the same way Xiaomi uses NFC to
authenticate air filters used in Xiaomi air purifier. Why is that so important and what does this mean
for me?

Imagine Phillips homecare product line. Imagined? Now try and count the number of products they
have in that line, let alone the amount of different toothbrushes and respective heads. How much
easier would it be, if with a single tap of the device you instantly know which kind of head fits to
which model of the toothbrush. Magic, right? Wrong, just NFC.

And all this talk about saving the planet, using less paper, being green – and we’re still using a lot of
paper to print user manuals and operating instruction. But what if it would’ve been possible to avoid
all that? You see where I’m going here? Just one tap with your smartphone and all that information
is available to you in a blink of an eye, no trees hurt.

It also allows brands to gather essential market intelligence in real time, analyse their customers and
the needs of customers much better. Enabling them to provide a better service or product,
identifying gaps in their portfolio, and tuning their product strategies. In a nutshell, it improves the
connection between companies and their clients, drives sales, increases customer satisfaction,
enables brand loyalty.

Panthronics PTX100R delivers unprecedented benefits for the authentication use case in IoT
applications. High output power and best industry’s sensitivity allows the use of a very small reader
antenna, a few square millimetres, which enables smallest and sleekest designs, reduces BOM size
and cost. And who says small = less power? those who haven’t yet benefited from Panthronics
innovative PTX100R NFC IC technology.

Access control is a completely different story. When I say “hotel key”, you’d barely think of a physical
key and a matching keyhole, rather a plastic card and a reader placed on the door right above the
handle? Well guess what, it also has NFC technology written all over it.

And we are going to tell you more about this use case. Next time

Keep on reading and stay tuned!

Authors: David Renno, Evgeniia Vinogradova

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