Near Field Communication (NFC) is already present in more than 1.5 Billion smartphones. Well-known applications like payment and access control are enabled by NFC, but also emerging and innovative use cases which are just appearing on the horizon now.
This article gives you more information, background and how-to guides around our NFC demos, first exhibited at embedded world 2018 in Nürnberg - to help you put NFC Everywhere.
Accessories and consumables
Identifying and authenticating accessories and consumables can add significant value to a product, and for the first time we show live how this works: The demo showcases tool identification via NFC for 3 different kinds of tools: A drill bit, a standard flat-blade screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver. Each of the tools has an embedded NTAG213 NFC tag, and the electric drill contains an NFC reader (CLRC663 plus). As soon as a tool is inserted, the main unit reads the tool type and usage (wear). Based on this information, it can reject non-genuine or worn-out tools, and adjust internal settings like max/min speed based on the tool type.
The demo is based on the brand new NFC Nutshell kit by our partner GMMC, and the demo shows how easily an existing product can be retrofitted with NFC using this kit.
Find a detailed description of accessory and consumable identification and authentication here: https://community.nxp.com/docs/DOC-340283
Parameterization, Diagnosis and Firmware update
This demo shows how you can use an NFC phone to parameterize/configure a DIN rail module (or any other piece of electronics) with an NFC phone - even if the module is completely unpowered. The smart phone app lets you set the behavior of the lamps and also the language of the display. After the configuration (a simple tap) you switch on the main power, and the device comes up as configured. And NFC also lets you read out diagnostic data - no matter whether the device is powered on or off. So you can even replace your service UART by NFC. Thirdly, the demo shows how easy it is to even flash your firmware via NFC. Again, this works even when the device is switched off.
This application is based on the NTAG I²C plus passive connected tag IC.
Find a detailed description and all source codes here: https://community.nxp.com/docs/DOC-333834. Interested how this looks like in a commercial product? Watch this video showing how easily the Schneider Zelio NFC Timer Relay can be configured via NFC.
In the Access Management corner, we demonstrate the ultimate contactless connectivity for residential or hospitality applications through NXP NFC and BLE solutions and a superior contactless experience and security with MIFARE® DESFire® credential on cards, mobile devices and wearables.
Our demonstrator is based on the PN7462 family, the all-in-one full NFC controller, the QN9021, a low power BLE system-on-chip, and the PCF8883T, capacitive proximity switch with auto-calibration, for very low power consumption.
We also show two commercial products by our partners:
1) The Salto XS4 range of smart doorlocks, a simple to use and very efficient access control system.
2) A modular access control solution by Kronegger, using their tiny NFC reader boards.
We also reveal a very small footprint complete reader board based on the new BGA package (VFBGA64; 4.5x4.5 mm²) for the PN7462 family complementing the existing HVQFN64 package.
NFC Tandem - The Best Of Two Worlds
If you need NFC functionality both in powered and unpowered state, have a look at the NFC Tandem demo: An NFC reader (PN7150) and a passive connected NFC tag (NTAG I²C plus) sharing one antenna. A user can interact with the device when it is powered off (through the NTAG I²C plus); when the device is powered, it can read cards, tags or other connected tags.
Find design files, a user manual and further downloads here: https://community.nxp.com/docs/DOC-340244
Single-Chip Integrated Solution: LPC8N04 MCU with passive NFC interface
In this demo, we show our latest integrated NFC solution, the LPC8N04, a cost-effective MCU with integrated (passive) NFC connectivity. This MCU offers multiple features, including several power-down modes and a selectable CPU frequency of up to 8 MHz for ultra-low power consumption.
The demo showcases its features in a conceptual clock format:
- Easily set current time/date of the clock via an NFC phone
- Real-time clock with optional alarm, programmed and controlled using an Android app
- GPIO controlled bar graph indicating programmable "safe operating range"
- I2C controlled OLED user display
- Data (temperature) logging, configured using an Android App
To learn more about this device, please visit: www.nxp.com/LPC8N04
Single-Chip Integrated Solution: NTAG SmartSensor
NTAG SmartSensor allows consumers and brand owners to confirm that temperature sensitive products – like fish, wine or pharmaceuticals – have been properly handled. The NTAG SmartSensor allows for temperature sensing at the item level, so each individual product can be confirmed as safe to use. And a single tap with your NFC smartphone is all that's needed to read out the temperature history of the NTAG SmartSensor.
If you are looking for a ready-made logger using the NTAG SmartSensor, here is a list of manufacturers offering NTAG SmartSensor based loggers.
Electronic Shelf Labels
With NFC-enabled Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL), wrong price indication, non-transparent processes, and unsatisfactory customer interactions are a thing of the past. In this demo we show labels from 2 manufacturers, one commercial electronic shelf label from SES Imagotag and one ePaper label from MpicoSys.
Find more information in the article by Fabrice Punch, Senior Marketing Manager at NXP.
Why NFC on ePaper label?
- NFC allows for creating a product with no batteries, so no recharging, and labels can be in constant use
- No cables and connectors - labels can be fully sealed and made waterproof
- NFC is a well-proven and widely-supported standard
- Allows for easy integration with both PC and smartphones
Applications for PicoLabel - MpicoSys ePaper labels
- Logistic labels (warehousing, supply chain management)
- ID Badges (show image on employee, visitor and conference badges)
- Authentication badges (identity, authentication, cryptographic security)
- Door signage (shared offices, conference centers)
- Manufacturing (replacing paper labels)
The NFC Cube is the universal demo for NFC applications: It shows communication between a device and a card/tag, between a device and a phone, and between two devices. It uses the PN7462AU single-chip NFC controller with integrated Cortex M0 core.
The NFC Cube kit is interoperable with our NTAG I2C plus Explorer board, which enables you to demonstrate how 2 devices can communicate via NFC.
NFC Portfolio and Package Options
Find here an overview of the package options of our NFC reader and connected tag ICs.
Our Partners In The NFC Everywhere Demonstrator
We would like to extend a special thanks to our partners who contributed to this demonstrator:
- Lab ID: NFC/RFID cards, tickets, labels and inlays
- Kronegger: Demo on logical access control, NFC reader modules and customized solutions
- Salto: Smart door lock demo
- GMMC: NFC Nutshell Kit for easy demonstration, retrofitting and development of small NFC reader solutions
- SES Imagotag: Commercial electronic shelf label with customer interaction via NFC
- MpicoSys: Commercial PicoLabel based on ePaper and content update via NFC
Find out more
- Discover NFC Everywhere: https://www.nxp.com/nfc
- All about MIFARE: https://www.mifare.net
- Get your technical NFC questions answered: https://community.nxp.com/community/identification-security/nfc
- List of Approved Engineering Consultants (AEC) for NFC: https://nxp.surl.ms/NFC_AEC
- NFC Everywhere Brochure: https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/brochure/NFC-EVERYWHERE-BR.pdf