Google unveiled its Nexus S smartphone Monday and announced collaboration efforts with NXP Semiconductors to develop an open-source software stack based on near field communication. NFC technology now supports Gingerbread, the latest version of the Android platform.
NXP's NFC controller (PN544) now sits in Google's launched Nexus S phone, co-developed by the search engine tech company and Samsung. The platform offers a variety of NFC services, applications and possibilities that Jeff Miles, director of mobile transactions worldwide at NXP Semiconductors, a Philips Semiconductors spinoff, outlined in a November interview for Online Media Daily.
The technology will offer a higher level of engagement for advertisers wanting to build campaigns on mobile phones based on NFC technology, as well as more security for retail stores and banks that want to offer electronic payment and transfer services.
With a developer community now able to access an open-source NFC implementation, NXP hopes to drive the development and adoption of applications that extend the touch interface of mobile applications beyond device screens. The partnership also aims to help manufacturers speed development of NFC-enabled mobile apps for devices at a lower cost to develop and implement.
NFC is a short-range, high-frequency wireless communications technology enabling the exchange of data between two devices. It's an extension of radio frequency identification (RFID) that allows two devices to transmit information between them without contact. NFC links the physical and virtual worlds.
The NFC industry had been waiting for an opening that supports wide adoption for the technology. Similar to the tale of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Gingerbread and the partnership with Google could provide NXP with the winning ticket.
NXP's contribution and the introduction of NFC in Gingerbread provides developers, service providers, and device manufacturers with opportunities to deliver new services that enable brands to interact with consumers, as well as consumers to communicate with each other, according to Eric Chu, mobile platforms program manager at Google.
Using natural touch gestures, NFC devices can pair with accessories, interact on a peer-to-peer level to exchange data, and connect to reader and tag infrastructures. Nexus S will offer consumers immediate access to read NFC tags.