Windows 8: NFC built right in, already in developer tablets

We didn't see this one coming. Microsoft has integrated NFC right into Windows 8; so much so that it's already there, and is even enabled in the developer tablet devices to be given out today at BUILD.

In a post on NFCWorld, it was revealed that Microsoft chose NXP to help develop the NFC technology for Windows 8. NFC says it has "collaborated extensively with Microsoft to develop an NFC driver for Windows 8 that enables a variety of NFC use cases. NXP has configured its PN544 NFC controller chip to support Windows 8." The company also announced that the technology is part of the Samsung devices being given out to BUILD attendees today.

NXP says that the Windows 8 "use cases" right now for NFC technology are the following:

  • Windows 8 device pairing (eg Bluetooth headsets and speakers)
  • Data sharing (eg digital business cards)
  • Device control transfer (eg transfer a video call from a tablet to another NFC-enabled device)
  • Tag reading (eg linking the physical world with the cloud through interaction with smart posters and NFC-tagged devices)

Developers can use the NFC support to offer promotions, coupons and discounts and NXP imagines that "bringing physical touch points to online social networking for enhanced check-in experience; perform surveys and brand reviews; add NFC-enabled tokens to unlock or enhance a gaming experience; and, enable content delivery in document, audio or video format" are fantastic ways to utitlize the technology.

It's worth noting right now that it doesn't appear to support future NFC payment methods, such as tap-and-go at the petrol pump or stores and it's not clear if this will be added in the future. If you're not sure what NFC is exactly, it stands for "Near Field Communication", a method of communication with other devices to share or read information from. It's designed to be simple and "tap-and-go."

It's impressive that the technology is already part of Windows 8, as it adoption and popularity continues to rise worldwide. But what does this mean for Windows Phone 7? Will the platform be getting NFC soon? We suspect we'll know more when Nokia make their announcement next month.

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8 Comments

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This should be pretty sweet, hoping NFC really takes off in the future on multiple device platforms, not just phones/tablets, though that's where the usefulness of it is. But also on other devices such as laptops, desktops, doorlocks, coffee mugs, clothing, movie posters, resturaunt menus, ...integrate ALL THE THINGS!

FYI:

NFC, or Near Field Communication, is basically proximity range(only works at about an inch max) RFID technology, otherwise known as Mifare ISO14443, what's special about NFC is that in any given device, such as a phone or a tablet, effectveily has a Mifar reader, and a Mifare Card inside it, the card side can be used as say a contactless credit card, library card, public transport etc, the reader side of it can be used to read other cards, say a movie poster could have a transpoder in it, read it on your phone and it instantly brings up article, reviews, trailers for that movie.

Working with RFID equipment myself, I'm quite excited about the potential future NFC has in our day to day lives, and can't wait to see how it all goes.

WAR-DOG said,
Just out of curiosity... what the funk is NFC and NXP?

NFC, near field communication.

It's a wireless communication protocol similar to bluetooth but the range is a lot shorter, the sender and receiver devices have to practically touch.

NFC can be used to make wireless payments simply by swiping a device across a receiver. There are vending machines in some parts of the world where you simply swipe an NFC-enabled device across a scanner to pay for what you want.

I think, although I'm not 100% sure, that this is the same technology that most contactless debit cards use.

Hardcore Til I Die said,
I think, although I'm not 100% sure, that this is the same technology that most contactless debit cards use.

It is indeed

Ha! Shows all those morons out there who think Microsoft is in the dark ages and late to everything. Can't wait for Windows 8 slate PCs.