Feeds

Mobes to slurp messages, links over NFC

Optional mailbox feature added to specs

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

NFC devices are to get an optional open mailbox into which messages and requests can be dropped by other NFC devices, hopefully leading to cross-platform P2P applications.

The near-field communications standard is largely concerned with devices reading passive tags, or interacting with point-of-sale kit, but peer-to-peer applications are cooler right now. So the standard has been extended to incorporate an open inbox into which devices can push messages in the hope that an app on the receiving device will read them.

The new standard is called SNEP (Simple, NFC Data Exchange Format, Exchange Protocol), and the NFC Forum suggests it could be used to push an address book entry into someone else's handset or bung a hyperlink into every passing NFC handset without immediately bothering the user. The receiving handset decides what to do with the incoming message.

In the hyperlink example the forum optimistically suggests it might lead to a film clip, which could be viewed by tapping the phone against a TV remote control. The exact behaviour, or contents of the messages dropped into the mailbox, isn't specified by SNEP: the standard just allows devices to be open to reception without being triggered by the user.

The new specification, which is available with the minimum of form filling, brings the forum's document count up to 16, and is being promoted as bringing cross-platform compatibility to NFC - so an Android handset can talk to an iPhone handset. Such compatibility already exists, of course, but the protocol provides that open mailbox functionality on those platforms that chose to implement it.

Which even forum members have no obligation to do. The NFC Forum takes responsibility for the standards, and continues to refer to them as "NFC" standards despite previously admitting it has no control or ownership over the term. The NFC Forum controls only the "N-Mark" logo that few people have heard of and even fewer would recognise; the reality is that anyone can call anything "NFC Compatible" as the term has no meaning at all.

Apple, for example, isn't even a forum member but will likely be supporting something along the lines of NFC in the near future, while China Mobile happily deployed several million "NFC" devices on a different frequency entirely, so there's still plenty of room for market confusion despite the solid standards getting published. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.