NFC is opening up new possibilities for mobile applications. Applications using this short-range radio technology can greatly simplify how a user gathers data and interacts with their environment. When a phone touches, or is held near an NFC tag or another NFC capable device, the phone can exchange data with that tag or device. This data could be a link to download the menu of a favourite restaurant, the specifications for an electronic gizmo, paring information from a Bluetooth headset or another phone that can be used to exchange objects: the possibilities are endless.
JBL Wireless Speaker
Nokia Purity Pro
Proximity API for Windows Phone
Implementation guide for NFC apps on Windows Phone8
Nokia Lumia Developers library
Additional information on implementing NFC using the Windows Phone 8 Proximity Framework
NDEF library for Windows Phone
Helper library for parsing standard NDEF messages stored in NFC tags or transmitted between devices
NFC on Nokia Developer Wiki
Nokia developer wiki articles and code to get you started
NFC Discussion board
Interact with other developers on NFC development topics
Check what is stored on NFC tags and write your own NFC tag content
Get information related to NFC standards and technology
Below you can get familiar with the families of possible use cases that NFC technology provides. Note that the use cases are not mutually exclusive in fact we recommend that developers explore all aspects of how NFC technology can support their business. For instance implementing NFC sharing can add or enhance the social aspect of their app while the ability to read and react to application specific NFC tags can improve the discoverability and gives possibilities to run all sorts of marketing campaigns
This use case family is when two NFC enabled devices are held in close proximity with each other and exchange information. The information exchanged may be a photo, vCard, URL or it can be an application specific object (i.e. social profile, game object, ID or other type of data). NFC radio is suitable for exchanging small data objects. If larger quantities of data need to be transferred between devices, NFC can be used to establish a connection using another bearer technology such as Bluetooth or WiFi.
Due to the short range of the interaction (e.g., tapping) NFC can be used to establish a direct connection between two devices
using a secondary bearer technology such as Bluetooth. By using NFC pairing to facilitate connecting two Bluetooth devices,
the connection is done by a single tap gesture, which significantly improves the user experience. Nokia has championed this
use case by implementing it in its Bluetooth-enabled accessories.
NFC-enabled devices can gather and transmit information to and from passive NFC tags. NFC tags come in variety of shapes, types and sizes and can be read only or rewriteable. They consist of an antenna and a memory chip and do not require any power. They receive power from the NFC device that comes in close proximity and tries to either write or read data from the tag. Tags can be embedded into various products such as merchandise, inventory, posters (smart posters), business cards, etc. The information stored on NFC tags can be generic and standardized (e.g., URL, vCard, telephone number, or Bluetooth pairing information), or it can be application-specific (e.g., URI, raw data, or mimetype). Use cases range from enabling automated check-ins, auto-starting applications, running marketing campaigns, displaying situation relevant information (e.g. timetables), augmenting products by embedding tags with links to rich content (e.g. museums, merchandise, retail). The possibilities are endless.
In this case, the NFC mobile device emulates a standard NFC tag or a contactless SmartCard – generally referred to as Card emulation mode. This means the mobile device can be used as a credit/payment card, transit card, access key, coupon, or loyalty card. Typically for this use case, the information from the emulated card (i.e. credit card information, transit ticket, discount voucher) needs to be stored and managed in a secure and tamper-proof way. This is done via the Secure Element, a dedicated chip with restricted and managed access control that is either embedded into the device or connected externally via a SIM card or SD chip. The service provider (bank, transportation authority, retailer, or operator) deploys and manages the card information on the Secure Element using a broker, the Trusted Service Manager (TSM). These types of use cases can be done without an application or using an application or application framework (i.e. Wallet).
NFC provides new opportunities for app developers. Whether you are developing games, social applications, multimedia or for enterprise NFC technology can enhance the usability of your app by i.e. allowing users to share application specific objects with other users, improve discoverability by i.e. allowing users to discover your app easily from smart posters or add new use cases that were not possible before i.e. item tracking & physical interaction. On the other hand NFC can become the core technology for your app i.e. NFC tag writing and reading, exchanging objects or digitalizing and mobilizing your contactless/SmartCard business
With Windows Phone 8, NFC is supported as a platform feature dependent on OEMs to implement. Developers can easily access NFC technology using the WP8 SDK. The Proximity Framework gives applications easy access to NFC sharing and NFC tag writing and reading functionalities. The API is a cross platform API so developers can share the NFC implementation between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 and create both Desktop and mobile versions of the application and innovate on NFC use cases between the two device families.
For payment, ticketing, and other related use cases, the Windows Phone Wallet framework provides integration enablers for payment and transaction instruments. Note that for using the Secure Element APIs and enabling NFC SmartCards special requirements exist, e.g., developers need to have access to a Secure Element enabled SIM card from a WindowsPhone 8 compatible operator.
Nokia also supports NFC on selected Symbian devices, the N9 as well as on some older Series 40 devices. Below are the resources
For Symbian and MeeGO