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NFC Forum Adopts Bi-directional Communication Between Smartphones and IoT Devices

By Ken Briodagh June 02, 2020

The NFC Forum, a standards and advocacy association for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, recently announced that its Board of Directors approved and adopted the Tag NFC Data Exchange Format Exchange Protocol Specification (TNEP) and an updated version of the popular Connection Handover Technical Specification (CH 1.5).

The TNEP specification reportedly defines the bidirectional exchange of data between an NFC-enabled phone and an IoT device implementing tag and reader functionality. When combined with the CH 1.5, TNEP enables new NFC, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi negotiated and mediated handover solutions by using the reader/writer mode regardless of the smartphone operating system (OS).

“The adoption of the TNEP specification means that IoT device manufacturers can now use components implementing the protocol for tag communication to create more cost-efficient designs and expand connectivity options,” said Koichi Tagawa, chair, NFC Forum. “Together with CH 1.5, the two specifications offer an ideal solution for microcontroller-based designs for IoT devices.”

Bidirectional communication with IoT devices means NFC-enabled smartphones can read the actual state from the IoT device and can change the configuration of the IoT device by using write operations.  It can be used to configure an audio system, digital camera, lightning system, smart meter or radiator valve, for example.

The group said that CH 1.5 is designed to ease the development of new solutions pairing NFC with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi when the data to be transferred is large or streamed for a long time. Examples include Bluetooth audio streaming or transfer of a photo between a digital camera or a smartphone over Wi-Fi.


Ken Briodagh is a storyteller, writer and editor with about two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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