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NFC Forum Announces Specifications to Support Peer-to-Peer Device Communication

January 27, 2010

Near-field Communications-compliant devices have been making huge inroads into the consumer markets due to their unique qualities.
Looking to accelerate its growth with more advanced features, the NFC Forum has introduced the Logical Link Control Protocol specification, which supports bi-directional communications between NFC-compliant devices. Additionally, the forum also announced the new NFC Signature Record Type Definition candidate specification.

NFC technology allows mobile devices to “read” information stored in “tags.” With the help of NFC technology, we will be able to interact with the information all around us. These tags can be affixed to everyday objects such as posters, bus stop signs, street signs, medicine labels, certificates, food packaging and more.
To support peer-to-peer communication between two NFC-enabled devices, the adopted LLCP technical specification defines an OSI layer-2 protocol. This is essential for any NFC applications that involve bi-directional communications, such as the exchange of electronic business cards, the transfer of a Web URL from one phone to another, or the initiation of Bluetooth communications.
“For NFC to succeed globally, it is essential to provide a means to verify the authenticity of data in NDEF messages and to ensure smooth interoperability with earlier NFC implementations and existing contactless infrastructure,” said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. “These two specifications provide these capabilities, giving NFC developers both the tools and the confidence to create solutions that can succeed globally.”
With the help of Signature RTD candidate technical specification, users can verify the authenticity and integrity of data within NDEF messages by specifying the format to be used when signing single or multiple NDEF records. The Signature RTD specifications will be released in the end pending feedback from NFC Forum members and other standards organizations.
In September, the company selected Integri, a Clear2Pay company and a provider of test tools and related expertise to collaborate in the development of conformance test tools for digital communication between NFC devices and tags. Additionally, the NFC Forum is providing financial assistance for validation of the test tools by a qualified third-party test laboratory.

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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