Feeds

Mobes to slurp messages, links over NFC

Optional mailbox feature added to specs

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
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?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.