The modern implementation of NFC support began in 2003 when the technology was approved as an ISO/IEC standard and later, as an ECMA standard. However, while a number of innovations have strengthened the technology since then, uses to most end-consumers seem limited. Mostly used for sharing small files, quick easy payments, and rapid pairing with accessories, NFC has probably not seen the growth it deserves in the last few years.
However, the NFC forum recently unveiled the Wireless Charging Specification (WLC) for the technology, and that changes things. The new addition will allow single-antenna devices like chargers and smartphones to charge other devices via NFC. This charging power will be 1W, which is not a lot if you go by today’s numbers. However, it is easy to forget that 1W charging is still relatively quick wireless charging on the go for most earbuds and wearables.
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Moreover, most modern upper mid-range smartphones and flagship phones have NFC. Implementation of NFC is much easier and common that the wireless charging pad. This could usher in a new transformation where we see support for reverse wireless charging come to more phones. Both Samsung and Huawei have introduced similarly working features recently. This includes the Samsung Wireless Powershare used in the Galaxy S10. However, these implementations don’t directly use NFC for the power transfer.
“NFC wireless charging is truly transformative because it changes the way we design and interact with small, battery-powered devices as the elimination of plugs and cords enables the creation of smaller, hermetically-sealed devices,” said NFC Forum chair Koichi Tagawa.
Further, the new standard also allows NFC-enabled devices to communicate with each other. This means that compatibility between devices from various manufacturers will get better. Moreover, even devices other than smartphones can use the new feature. This includes NFC-equipped chargers, PCs, gaming controllers, tablets, and more.