USA: The NFC Forum has announced the creation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that will bring together leaders from the areas of Consumer Electronics, Health Care, Payment, Retail, and Transport to collaborate on NFC solution implementation, interoperability, best practices, and future requirements.
By fostering the direct, concerted interaction of NFC stakeholders in key vertical markets, use cases, and technology segments, the SIGs will enable the NFC Forum to take a more active role in driving NFC solutions development, deployment, and adoption.
The new SIGs build on the NFC Forum's progress to date and reflect the growing momentum behind NFC. Analysts estimate that more than 100 million NFC-enabled phones were sold in 2012 and close to 300 million will be shipped in 2013. NFC Forum membership is at an all-time high, and the organization has achieved major milestones in specification development and certification.
The five SIGs introduced today in two special public webcasts, "NFC Goes Vertical," represent the top near-term growth opportunities for NFC technology. The NFC Forum will form additional SIGs as market needs develop.
Each SIG leverages the Forum's alliance partnerships in that area, bringing together top experts, member companies, and NFC solutions developers to share the business and technical needs of their industry and to develop programs to support them. SIG activities include:
* Educating the market on use cases, implementation issues, and lessons learned.
* Gathering business requirements to drive new or modified technical work.
* Exploring ways to speed or smooth certification of NFC-enabled devices.
* Establishing and managing liaisons with other groups to further collaboration efforts.
* Creating regional programs as needed.
"As the commercialization of NFC solutions grows, we see an increasing need in the marketplace for education, guidance, and support for market implementation," said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. "By helping us focus our efforts and expertise on the specific needs of key market sectors, the SIGs will enable the NFC Forum to facilitate and accelerate the delivery of exciting new NFC solutions to consumers."