A new mobile computing and communication industry report today said NFC, or Near-field Communication technology is fast coming of age, with some 100 million cell phones using NFC tech predicted to be sold this year alone.
Reuters quoted the communications research firm Berg Insight as saying that this is triple the 2012 number of sales over 2011 where only 40 NFC-enabled mobile computing device models were released by developers.
Berg Insight said the expected NFC technology surge this year is being powered by the increasing popularity of mobile payments.
The NFC system makes possible the wireless exchange of data for distances of a few centimeters, allowing mobile phones, for instance, to download music, swap business cards and images, store online-purchased tickets and more significantly and more conveniently, pay for goods and services.
Similar enabling technology has traditionally been installed in credit cards and other portable high-security systems.
Leading developers have recently announced further NFC-enabled innovations including fingerprint checking capabilities for mobile devices, providing novel security benefits for users. Sony has disclosed that it is developing a system that would allow fingerprint- checking through a smart phone’s screen, rather than from the back that is being done by a competitor’s existing system.
The research outfit predicted that from 30 million cell phone units sold in 2011 to more than 100 million expected this year, global sales of NFC-carrying mobile computing devices such as smart phones and tablets could go as high as 700 million phones in 2016.
NXP Semiconductor is regarded as the leading manufacturer of NFC chips.